Sunday, January 30, 2011

Why AreThere More Questions Than Answers?

Day 30: Your Highs and Lows This Month

This month started out with a lot of hope. It's a new year, there was a new baby in the family, my niece, and sometime we were hoping hubby would get hired on.

I had the bright idea to attempt to get a decent job with a salary. I subbed in the meantime and planned my son's 8th birthday.


Then I went to my interview and was so nervous, I think I totally bombed it. This plunged me into three days of walking depression. Even though I threw a party and brushed off the interview fiasco like it wasn't bothering me, I couldn't be a wife to my husband, nor a great mom for a few days. Finally I convinced myself that it just wasn't meant to be and at least I tried. If I choose to repeat this process, I will have learned something from it.

Hubby finally heard he was getting hired on January 31st. He starts tomorrow. Thing is, I haven't really celebrated this wonderful news. We did go out to eat. But in my heart, I haven't let the joy in.

And then I found out about a full time position as an aide for a 7th grade student with autism whom I had worked with before. I was a shoe-in. The principal and assistant principal of the school would have hired me that very minute. The interview for this job was completely different.

The only thing about this job is that I know what I am in for. I know the stresses and pitfalls that WILL come with this job. You'd think I'd be prepared, but I'm afraid I'll fall for them the same way I fell for them before. My goal is to stay positive. But more importantly, to keep looking for other jobs, to use this as a foot in the door. I'm going back for a reason. I just don't know what that is.

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Saturday, January 29, 2011

January Is Over??

Day 29: Goals for the Next 30 Days

1. Try Something New (at this point I'm thinking it may be hair related)
2. Post About Inspiration (among other things)
3. Car Maintenance
4. Edit something
5. Finish series' on Ficly.com
6. Make a Dance Mix
7. Stay Positive At Work (and remind everyone I have a license to teach)
8. Eat Healthy (my job requires walking up and down stairs a lot, so it'll help me start to lose my 2010 fat)

And that's what I have so far..



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This Blazé Mood Just Won't Do

Day 28: Something That You Miss

Right now, I miss writing. I haven't done much more than blog (and you can tell that's been every other day lately) and copy over a story with multiple POVs to one singular first person Point of View.

I haven't been on my favorite website!

I miss the feeling of completion when I finish something epic and hit that submit button.

I miss the elation at getting a new comment on my work, even if it offers up a critique.

I miss the zone I go into when I am typing up a scene. Much like reading, stepping away from the piece back into reality is surreal.

At least during Nano I was writing every day and felt this bliss often. It's just been a long week, and I'm facing another long week, so I just want to crash and do nothing and wallow in my own self laziness.

But then I wouldn't have clean clothes.

And my yucky mood would last longer.

We can't have that.

(Usually what I miss is having a real girlie friend to shop with, but I'm not in a shopping mood.)

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Thursday, January 27, 2011

Is There A Happy Balance?

Day 27: A Problem That You Have Had

I've been struggling with my role. Yep. I want to work to support my family financially, however, that has been troublesome. I apply and maintain my resume and try, but nothing comes to fruition.

I want to also keep my home tidy and healthy for my family, and enjoy sleeping in, or choosing what days to work and when to be lazy as a substitute.

I can't have both.

Do I want to work or do I want to be lazy?

Then there is writing. When I am all flustered, not a word comes out. When I am busy with work and housecleaning, I can't even read and leave a comment on my favorite website! If I want to write, I have to not work.

Am I a writer, or a worker? Can I find a happy balance?

I think if I get a consistent job, I can work around my schedule and fit chores and writing in. With this inconsistent schedule, I never know what I'll have time for.

Yes, there is a balance. Consistency brings harmony.

Getting there is the struggle.

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Crying: Cast Your Vote!

Day 26: Crying: Strength or Weakness?

Sometimes crying just has to be done. After a stressful event, crying helps get those emotions out. There are tears for joy as well as sorrow. Most of my tears are from frustration. Or maybe pent up emotions that just boil over.

I hate to cry in view of any other human.

But I am reminded of a time when I was dating my now husband and my aunt had passed away. He said he'd rather I cried on his shoulder, with him, than without. He wanted to hold me and feel like he was doing something to comfort me. So in my crying times today, I remember I don't have to hide my tears from him.

Strength or weakness? I must personally view crying as a weakness, otherwise I wouldn't want to hide it. Even though I know that it is a necessary function, a path to emotional health, I still don't want to share.

What do you vote: strength or weakness?

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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Love One Another

Day 25: Someone Who Fascinates You and Why

Mentally ill people.

I don't mean this in a bad way. I have friends with mental illnesses, and have worked with several people that have them. I find them fascinating because they are a puzzle. How much of them is the illness and how much is them? What triggers them?

I enjoy learning the aspects of their personality. Maybe somewhere inside I think I can help fix them, but really, I often find bits of myself in them. How do you diagnose someone, calling them not quite normal?

What if I am crazy too?

What is normal?

We all have some sort of complex, mine is inferiority. I function in society, so I am normal, right? How many people do you know say they have OCD about something?

What I enjoy doing is getting to know them, as people. it's far too easy to stare, or look away. It's much harder to smile and offer a friendly hello.


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Moments Like These

Day 24: What Makes You Smile

Random moments when the 3 1/2 year old looks at me, sighs and says "I Love You!" then gives me a kiss. What did I do to deserve this?

A clean house.

An organized desk.

Sunshine, but not when it's snowy and reflects into your eyes making you blind, but rather when it's 78 and breezy.

Trips to someplace new, or someplace fun. I enjoy anticipating something with excitement. Who doesn't? It's like Christmas!

Christmas!

Satirically funny movies. Like The New Guy or Drop Dead Gorgeous.

And lastly, laying by the fire with hubby. :)

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Sunday, January 23, 2011

Hottest Post Ever!

Day 23: 5 Famous Guys You Find Attractive

Andrew Lee PottsSeen in: TV mini series Alice. He played Hatter.
Loved that character, sort of a bad boy.

Alex O'LoughlinSeen in: TV series Moonlight and currently on Hawaii Five-O
Definitely a bad boy, but wants so much to be good, it's like scolding a puppy! Look at those eyes. He's got smolder.

Johnny DeppWho doesn't like Depp???

Alan TudykFrom Firefly and Serenity, and also Knight's Tale and a host of others.
My favorite-est red-head! If only it has stayed as red as in Knight's Tale..

Scott Cohen
He's a bit older, but I LOVED his character Wolf in The 10th Kingdom. I always enjoy his cameos in other shows.

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How Have I Changed In The Past 2 years?

Day 22: How Have You Changed in the past 2 Years?

I went back to read over my first blogs here on this site. Wow. Some of them are so embarrassing.. I deleted a few posts. *cheeks burn with shame*

It's obvious I have matured as a writer, as well as a mom and wife, by reading back over those. In 3 years, this blog hasn't had much of a purpose but to share a little bit of my life with you. Though I was disappointed in the scattered content at first, I realized that's just me, and I'm not going to change. While I do have ideas for future posts, they are going to be a varied as the songs my soul sings.

In the past 2 years I have:
  • owned 3 vehicles
  • gained one dog
  • been a wild turtle rescuer
  • had some great and not so great teaching experiences
  • been published
  • made some new friends and said good-bye to others
  • bought a house!!!!!

Some of my views about the world have been tested and opinions solidified: issues in education and gay/lesbian rights, specifically.

Reading back over my blogs, many of the laments I had about my job are now reminders of lessons learned. Some things never change, and others are just hallmarks to avoid in the future. I am just as hard-headed, and at times impulsive, as ever, still sometimes falling for the same lines, making the same mistakes. Maturity means I'm either recovering quicker, or stopping myself before it gets too far.

One thing that stands out to me: I had forgotten what my son was like at 5 and 6. Remembering his behaviors is a warning to me about what's to come with the younger one! Maybe history won't repeat itself, but as humans, we tend to go through the same struggles at the same ages.


But most importantly, all the bad stuff that shaped me seems to dissipate, the hurt feelings numbed by time. It's the good things I remember most.


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Friday, January 21, 2011

TV: Favorite Shows

Day 21: One of Your Favorite Shows

Ah, TV.

We got rid of our satellite service. We don't watch enough of it to be worth paying for.

I DO watch shows, though. Hulu is my friend! I can watch documentaries, or link to A&E's Hoarders when I need motivation to clean, or Clean House when I need motivation to organize. I caught up on some old shows I never finished watching, like Wildfire and Firefly. I just started Merlin and I stay up to date on Pretty Little Liars and Glee.

I watched a reality-type show made for hulu about young people given the shot at stardom. I even caught a few episodes of Pregnant at 16.

Hubby and I manage to watch House, Big Bang Theory, Hawaii Five-o (because I loved Alex in Moonlight), and we were watching Warehouse 13. Hubby gave up on Fringe, but I catch it and watch. We might even start Dresden Files after Merlin, but I think I may prefer Merlin..

The best thing is, I can pause it. You know how crazy my life is! I'm constantly doing several things at once. So if I have to go bake a cake, stop a fight, or fold laundry, I can.

I can't just pick one show, though. They all have their own appeal.

What do you watch?

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Thursday, January 20, 2011

Your Brain is A Muscle Too

Day 20: How Important You Think Education Is


I'm a teacher. I am a college graduate. I want to go back to college to better myself. I think education is pretty darn important.


Hours a week are spent teaching my kids at home, other kids when I sub, and myself on the internet. Learning constantly is what life is about, even if the knowledge is how sharp the coffee table corner is compared to your shin.


We should challenge ourselves daily. I think if we don't, we get very bored. Hobbies and jobs do that, they challenge us (not bore us, you sillies). Problem solving, hand-eye coordination, transfer of skills, muscle memory, short term memory, and other skills can be developed. Work out your brain!


We all know people we think are blundering idiots. Don't be one of them. There was a study that showed that you can continue to increase your I.Q. into your old age. If you give up and stop learning, you are selling yourself short and probably missing out on opportunities.


READ READ READ, write, do crosswords, knit, golf, keep working, DIY some projects, practice, READ, and keep your body healthy. :)




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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

You're Not Too Big To Turn Over My Knee!

Day 19: Disrespecting Your Parents

I don't get how this is a blog topic...

To disrespect your parents is to earn punishment.

When I was 18 I did disrespect my parents, and I thought they would disown me. 'Jars of Clay' (it was the 'Flood' CD) was the only thing that soothed my soul in the dark as tears silently ran down my cheeks. My Dad was so furious he threatened to spank me, and I was so mad I threatened to call and report it as abuse.
Dad said he'd have a hard time forgetting this infraction. I was crushed.

What had I done?

Lied to them so I could stay with my boyfriend.
Overnight. I had behaved like the other college students, co-habitating behind closed doors.

My parents felt betrayed, like I had thrown the values they instilled in me out the window. Now that I'm a parent, if one of my kids pulled this stunt, I'd be pretty pissed too. Hubby would have to hold me back. Luckily, I'm so short, he can!

All teenagers rebel against their parents. My rebellion came late, almost after my teen years were up and I was not under their roof.

But I still loved my parents enough to want to call home from college every week. I did not drink or party. I did my homework, and took summer classes a couple of years to get through my minor. Some rebellion, huh? You know what, I'm going to take classes! Yeah that's what!


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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

I Believe in Love

Day 17: Your Beliefs

I do BELIEVE I covered this. :)

I believe that God is Love, that the ministry of Jesus was teaching us about Love, and I choose to try my very best to Love everyone. That's the basics.

I wrote a poem about my beliefs, once.

I Believe

I believe in rainy days that soak in deep to nourish at the root
I believe in rainbows of paper butterflies swaying above my head in childish glee
I believe in ice cream sundaes that melt fast in the sun leaving sticky puddles of joy
I believe in harmonies that make angels weep for their beauty
I believe in vanilla and lavender bubble baths of pure silent bliss


These things make me happy. I could add to the list, but I think you get the picture.


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Monday, January 17, 2011

Highs and Lows

Day 17: Your Highs and Lows of the Past Year

January
Highs: We just moved into our house!! Biggest, most awesome high ever. Found a new daycare, began applying for teaching positions for next year with optimism, Son started playing indoor soccer, having crawlspace repaired and sump pump installed

Lows: illness, made a lot of phone calls about house, learned 1/2 days subbing was fruitless

February
Highs: Took family out to Red Lobster in thanks for helping us with house; took son to his bookfair; had Valentine's lunch at my Mom's; started working at a middle school for 3 weeks; bought items for house; boys' beds, shelving, storage cabinets, got a new camera; went out of town to Mall for a fun shopping trip

Lows: power out for a week, got in fight with home warrantee company, van's engine blew

March
Highs: Got to stay working at school for 3 more weeks, then sub; picked up my 2nd doggie and made him a home here

Lows: Son decides he is not really into soccer, I make him go anyway

April
Highs: Sis-in-law's baby shower is a blast; I sub a lot; last soccer game; filled out more job apps for next school year in hope; planted flowers; weather was nice for son's birthday; published in Eclectic Flash

Lows: feel guilty about buying new office chairs

May
Highs: Family went to Zoo; got a recommendation letter; planted flowers for my Mom; bought my car; found out my sis was pregnant

Lows: hubby quit his job

June
Highs: hubby gets new job; took kids to small fair; interview went great; swam with kids; took them to library to kickoff summer learning; did some more gardening in front of house; published the porch book with my aunt; went to Holiday World theme park; had a fun VBS; went to Nashville, IN artist colony

Lows: not working, though I enjoy it, it strains the budget.

July
Highs: Lots of family get togethers for the 4th; laundry room painted, floored, and new appliances; went to the 4-H fair; started ficly nominations for book; went to a big Mall, but it turned out not a shopping place for us

Lows: back to paycheck by paycheck living by end of month, stopped going to the library functions, but still for books, it got so hot, had to put dogs in garage during the day

August
Highs: took boys to Children's Museum, saw Bill Nye, babysat my nieces and nephew, back to school, voting on ficly book canceled and all nominations included; friend sent me gift of brand new book I had to cancel my pre-order of!

Lows: rejected for assistance, but it was their error, had to fight them; no school job

September
Highs: straightened out assistance issue, but had to wait on other department to mail; self-published poetry book and snippet of my micro fiction collection to generate sales

Lows: tried to get a job, but it was filled by transfer; subbed very little

October
Highs: finally got funds in; went to covered bridge festival (for socks, they were out of boys socks) and had our favorite 6 dollar meal; had 1st weekend ALONE in years!; ficly book done and ready for order, had a good time trick-or-treat-ing

Lows: very little subbing, began to apply for other jobs, no luck

November
Highs: held a practice turkey fry; had lots of family thanksgiving celebrations, even went to see my grandma; paid for ficly book sales, as well as my own microfiction book

Lows: began to get sinus infections; felt very depressed about not having job, applied for college, but decided if I went back, I'd go local instead of online

December
Highs: Christmas, especially giving gifts; Oldest son's first new year watching ball drop; designed and built a doghouse for new doggie in one evening; Christmas card and gift from Australia;

Lows: not much work, especially with winter break in there; lots of illness; hubby's truck broke, but we fixed it; the furnace quit, so we had to fix it; it was so cold, had to put the dogs in the garage overnight.

And you have to wait for my update on THIS month. :)



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Sunday, January 16, 2011

I Prefer Something Borrowed or Blue..

Day 16: Your views on mainstream music

I just did a post on music! I don't listen to mainstream music! Sure, I pick up on popular songs in commercials and movies and the occasional radio I catch while with someone else, but I don't stay abreast of the newest bands.

So let's change this.

Day 16: When Was the last Time You Tried Something New

Well, I got a new CD for Christmas, and everything is good about it but the lead singer screams in some songs.

Um..

Sometimes we try a new variation of a food we already like. Does that count?
Oh, look, honey! They make it in a pastry now!

I sub in new classrooms in new schools, that's always an adventure!

I tried twitter and took notes on marketing myself as an author and self published with different sites. I also headed up the ficly paperback project. How's that?

I'm not much for trying new things, I guess. I mean, I work up to changes gradually. I don't even like to jump in the pool to get over the shock of the water being cold, but I did that for the first time in 2010.

I actually wrote this question on my calendar after I read it a couple weeks ago. It seemed a New Year's kind of thing to do. See? I even had to warm up to the question!

So, I guess I have to make a point to do new things this year.

Gulp

I'm scared to ask, but, any suggestions?

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Friday, January 14, 2011

Shout Outs

Day 15: Your favorite blogs

FINALLY I can take a break from talking about myself, which has been bugging me, and talk about others. Yay!

First of all, on the right, you will see links to blogs of fellow writers that I follow. Some of them I keep in touch with by other means. I follow more than are linked there, some that update infrequently so they aren't on the list right now, and I read more than I can follow.

I enjoy reading the blog of Betsy Lerner, an agent who has written a book about the writing craft called
Forest for the Trees. Her snappy and blunt musings tell me that as an agent, she would put me in line and balance my calmer, weaker, passive demeanor. I printed out a quote of hers and have it taped to my 2011 office space:
"Dude, write your heart out. delete half of it. Get it into the hands of a writing workshop, class or freelance editor. Work on it more. Repeat. Send to moi and five other agents. See what happens. If you bottom out, try again. Revise. Start a new project. Revise, etc. Never give up. Self-publish. Just keep writing and developing and living. That's the most important part."
That is my new credo for 2011.

On a more
dangerous note, I also follow Blogging Dangerously by an anonymous woman who writes about married S.E.X. As well as Adding Zest to Your Nest which is a Christian blog of multiple writers who provide advice, tips, suggestions, challenges, and addresses issues on Christian Married Sex.

Why?

Just because I don't talk about it, doesn't mean I don't have strong feelings about it. From those two blogs, you will get a feel for my feelings about it. I want to surround myself with like-minded people for support when I'm feeling less than frisky.

And that's enough about that. I'm not blogging anonymously here!

I also want to give a shout out to a friend who has made a basic Blog Post Inspiration Engine and needs contributors! You can see some of my blog posts linked there as well as his. If you have an idea, send him a note, maybe with your own blog post linked. He is author of The Outer Hoard and is one of my contacts in Australia! (Woohoo, I'm world-renowned! :P)

I follow several authors:
  • K.M. Weiland
  • Laurie Halse Anderson
  • One day I want a site like Shawn Klomparens where you can find everything about my books. My Wordpress About tab is the closest I have. dailyspoonfulsofsugar.wordpress.com (and they are not daily as I had hoped)
  • Or better yet, hook up with Digital Novelists like April Raines did.
And some inspiring blogs

Happy reading!

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Thursday, January 13, 2011

I Have A Good Memory

Day 14: Your Earliest Memory


When I was barely 5 we moved from our city house to our country house. So these are the memories of the city house.. I was 4 years old. My sister was born 4 months before I turned 4.

  • My mom folding cloth diapers into a dresser for my sister, but I don't know if it was before or after she was born. I think I remember waking up one morning and asking my grandmother where my mother was, and being told she was at the hospital, going to bring my baby sister home. It was odd to have Grandma there.
  • Falling out of my new big-girl bed, getting up and going the other twin bed in my room and falling out of it, then going back to 'my' bed and staying there.
  • The tiles were white and cold in my bedroom.
  • The front closet smelled strongly of something, maybe mothballs and leather.
  • Getting my bike with training wheels, propping it up on the curb so I could pedal fast and make the back wheel spin. There were wooden blocks bolted to the pedals so I could reach them.
  • Eating real peanuts you had to shell.
  • How the girl down the street's older brother was so big and fast on his bike. He scared me.
  • How the boy across the street had low three wheelers and a dog just like the Benji dog on television.
  • I remember sitting on an ant colony and them crawling all over me. My mom freaked out.
  • The neighbor's had prickly pears on a vine along the fence beside our driveway and they hurt my finger.
  • The mail lady always fed my dog a treat.
  • I remember being scared of my Dad when he broke his leg because he was never supposed to break, he was superman. That leg in a cast wasn't his. It couldn't have been.
  • I got in trouble for crossing the street and playing with the neighbors who had a deaf Mom. They had a bouncy ball with a handle the older boy refused to let us little girls play on. He bounced to me and I froze because I could see up his shorts.
  • The day was allowed to go over and play on the slip 'n slide, I knocked the wind out of my lungs and was afraid I was going to die. Then I played hide-n-seek.
  • I rode bikes with Mom a couple blocks to the park, my sister behind Mom in the kiddie seat, I on my training wheels. I don't remember the park, just the ride.
  • Going to daycare with my sister and Mom, where she worked, and seeing a boy who had fallen and cracked his head open leave with papertowels wrapped around his head; the tire swings that everyone hogged; the book I brought was loaned to a kid who tore it and was returned with tape all over it; the girls thought it was funny to share a toilet at restroom time, two peeing at the same time; two girls arguing over who was darker skinned.
  • My dog would come in when it was really cold and curl up on an old blanket and not move from beside the fireplace. I tried to play with him, but he was too shivery. I brought my toys to him instead.
  • My Dad getting rid of a Strawberry Shortcake metal doll stroller that he claims was broken. I threw a fit over it. I don't remember playing with it much, but the moment he was going to take it to the dump, I knew it was my most prized possession in all the world and he was just cruel to take it from me. :P
  • Flipping over the kiddie pool in my front yard to dump out the water, it was heavy, but I could do it.
  • My dog getting a bath in a metal tub.
  • Trying very hard to learn to do a cartwheel OVER the hose sprawled out in the yard.
  • Visiting a neighbor lady who was old and had green shag carpet. She gave me jelly beans. I didn't like them.
  • I hated the clown makeup they made me wear on Halloween. It was cold. The old people liked it. One house gave me strawberry candies with jelly in the middle. They were okay until the jelly part. I don't like jelly.
  • My Kermit the Frog balloon. I took him swimming in the kiddie pool with me. He was on a stick. I was sad when he popped.
  • The day we moved, EVERYONE in my life showed up to help us and I thought it was a Grand Time. Excitedly, I told the neighbor boy that we were moving today and I didn't understand why he was so sad and didn't want to play with me. The girl across the street had already moved. It hit me later what that really meant.

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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Home

Day 13: Somewhere You'd Like to Move or Visit

I've always been in love with the idea of 'Home'.
Home is where the heart is. I love every one of the seasons in their own right and am glad I live where I can witness them.

Once, after a long trip, I remember noticing how the land changed and began to
feel more like home. There was something about the trees that grew in the right clumps, the land that had the right amount of hill and dale. Maybe my body knew it was the right height above sea level, or the right magnetic distance from the North Pole. Or perhaps my mind interpreted all these things inside the knowledge that I was almost home. Whatever it was, I love my corner of the world.

But I'd like to visit lots of places!

I want to swim in the ocean, though I bet it is lot like the wave pool at the waterpark. (They even use saltwater!) Maybe take a surf lesson.

I want to see the desert with adobe churches and lizards. Maybe swing by the Grand Canyon and visit a western ghost town.

I want to heft a gigantic volcanic rock and pose for a picture like I'm super buff.

I want to visit a lighthouse.

I want to stay at a castle, admire the stonework, and take pictures of sheep herders crossing the road with their flock.

I want to get my hair dredded and listen to a steel drum band.

I'd like to visit the Holy Land. Egypt, Greece, and Rome would be neat too.

Would I make it to New Zealand, Australia, or Japan? I don't know. The thought of being so far from home is kind of intimidating. I'd have to be sure there was nothing to worry about back home to feel free enough to embark upon a long journey.

There's a world of experiences out there, even the blunders of being a tourist, that I want to learn from. I'd like to take my family, to share these experiences with those I hold most dear.

But nothing feels like
Home.

I could argue, as long as I have my hubby, my heart, I am home no matter what country we are in. (awwww) But Home to me includes
family and security. I'd never feel completely secure far away from my loved ones.

So I'd visit, but not live in other places for long. I'd always wish for
Home.

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Me, Me, Me, My Day.. ugh.

Day 12: Bullet Your Day

Really? Do you actually care?

Today we happen to have a 2 hour delay and I happen to be working. I was supposed to work yesterday but school was closed due to snow. Today I have to risk my life and the lives of my children while driving to daycare and work.
I should have planned this out better.. :/

  • Wake up
  • Get kids and I ready for day: breakfast, dressed, groomed
  • Go to work (hopefully)
  • Come home, picking up little one from daycare on the way
  • Eat
  • Do chores, help older one with homework
  • Get shower
  • Read bedtime stories
  • Go to bed when I feel tired
There ya go. The basic plan. Happy now?

I'm beginning to think that writing for 30 days about ME is losing my readers. Though this blog is my personal space and I use it as a journal, I'm thinking that I need to change it up. I need to post something fun every week that will be worth your time.

FLAVA

yeah, it needs flava..

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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Music and Me

Day 11: Ipod shuffle, first 10 songs.

I don't OWN an ipod.
I'm not really musically inclined.
Music is my weakest 'intelligence'.
Sure, I sing loudly in the car, but it's a joyful NOISE.

I used to be pretty good at singing, but I'm way out of practice now.

Plus, I choose to listen to Christian rock, and hubby is not into that, so I try to be accommodating and I only play it when he is not home, or on my computer with the headphones plugged in.


When I do listen to music I am usually doing other things, like laundry folding, or driving, things that take up the mechanical part of my brain.

I can't listen to music and write. Okay, well sometimes I can. But usually, I need to concentrate in silence. I find if I do listen to music when writing, I stop paying attention to the music. I am in a state of sensory deprivation, a tunnel created by the sound, a zone where only the words matter.

I live in a primarily music-less world. I enjoy music, but I can't hear all the subtle nuances that a musician can. I can't pick out each instrument in a composition. I just like what I like. I don't like country-twangy singers, or nasally singers. I love a good beat.

Maybe I should listen more often, especially if I want to dance for exercise! Maybe this should be a resolution; make an exercise mix.

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Monday, January 10, 2011

Kissing Is A Big Deal

Day 10: Discuss Your First Love and First Kiss

Discuss?? *squirms*

I don't like PDA (public displays of affection), so why would I want to
discuss my first kiss in public?!

Most of you are like, 'what's the big deal? I'm sure it was so long ago..' but see, I
married that kisser. And he reads my blog!

I wasn't kissed until I was 17. O.o Yeah, you heard me. In kissing terms that age is
ancient and because that age is ancient, I must have had something wrong with me, right?

I was just innocent and plain and everyone's friend.

I made him wait two weeks to even try it.

But I married him for his persistence, his brain that matches my wavelengths, and his ability to make me laugh.

My first love..

I had crushes. I had crushes on
Bad Boys. This one guy looked like Jonathan Brandis, oh yeah. Another was baby-faced and tan. If I open my middle-school yearbook and find his picture, it still makes my heart palpitate.

See? I can talk about them because I don't know where they are now!

My first 'boyfriend' was a sham. I was teased and hated and ostracized when the class found out I liked him at the awkward age when I was going through puberty and started to smell. He chased another girl around the playground while I pretended that it was just a cover for our hidden relationship that was mostly in my head.

Then there was the red-headed kid incident, where, like in the book 'flipped', the timing was just not right. I was left pining for my idea of what could have been for years.

Then I had a guy whom my friends claimed I was going out with. I held his hand sometimes, sat with him at lunch, but one day we were like, 'do you think we are more than friends?' and it was a resounding and mutual 'no'.

To love and be loved back was the desire of my heart and the subject of many a whispered prayer.

Until I met my husband.

(insert awww here)

I'd scan and share the prom pictures, but they are SCARY!

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Sunday, January 9, 2011

My Future Is.. Undecided..

Day 9: How You Hope Your Future Will Be Like

I remember envisioning my future as a teenager. What girl doesn't imagine her future? It's a time when you consider college and family and moving out on your own. I always pictured a white picket fence and a big Victorian house with flower gardens and lots of pets and a happy flock of children. I thought back then that I would adopt kids or foster them.
I never imagined the hard work it would take to acquire those things. I wanted beauty, color, peace, and sunshine.

I still want beauty, color, peace, and sunshine!

I never imagined the husband I would have, or what job I would do. I knew I would teach and be a mom and counsel. I didn't know in what order. Hey, I was flexible in my planning!

I still am.

I set goals short term, mostly. I haven't thought about where I see myself in 10 years, or heck even at the end of this one!

This is bad because it proves to me that I have no job prospects, no desire for a career. This stems from the past 6 years trying everything to build my reputation as a teacher. I had one awesome semester, where I proved to myself and to that elementary school that I could do it. But an opportunity exactly like that one has fizzled into non-existence. My drive to be that person has disappeared.

But not thinking ahead is also good because I can live in the moment. I also don't get worked up if a part of my Grand Plan fails.

Right now I am a writer. I've been storing up writing in notebooks and on post-its, on websites, and finishing projects during nano. My short term goals involve editing and coming up with a completed project through blood, sweat, and tears that I can fully support.

Writing is not a typical career, with salary and benefits. It is rewarding and satisfying.

So here's the dilemma I've been in for months now, job or write: how to be housemom, mother, writer,
and bread earner?

Where does that leave my future? Still undecided.

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Saturday, January 8, 2011

Make The Best of What You Have

Day 8: A Moment You Felt Most Satisfied With Your Life

I've had several moments like these, moments I felt truly blessed. For me, it involves a day with nothing pressing to worry about. Usually a worry has just been relieved.

Let's review the facts:
1. I now own a home.
2. My children are healthy.
3. My husband loves me unconditionally.

What else does a person need? I should be satisfied right now, right?

So where does the worry come from? Money. The root of all evil, perhaps, but definitely the root of all my worries.

What shall we eat this week? How much does a tow cost? When can we afford to have my son get his eyes re-examined? How much for furnace repair? Do I have enough gas to get me to work?

Sometimes things are serious. It's frustrating to continue spending money to maintain status quo, because the desire is to better yourself. It's frustrating to wait until the next paycheck to resolve an issue that seems dire. But it gets done. I guess waiting from paycheck to paycheck teaches patience and a bit of creativity to do without or work around a problem.

Right now however, status quo is the best we can hope for, so I think a change in perspective is needed. The goal must change from 'better ourselves' to 'make the best of what we have'.

And in doing so, we'll realize more moments are blessings and remember to stop to smell the roses, or at least appreciate what we have.


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Friday, January 7, 2011

What's My Sign?

Day 7: Your Zodiac Sign and If You Think It Fits Your Personality

There was a time I came into possession of a book of all the zodiac signs and their indicators on everything about life; marriage, love, friendships, positive and negative aspects of the sign, etc. I read it through on all the members of my family. I certainly saw traits in each person that were outlined, but I also saw fallacies in the descriptions. I also noticed that though 2 members of my family share a sign, they were not the same person.

This proved to me that the descriptions were general. Mostly, we latch onto the truths, the things that work for us, and quickly forget about the parts that don't, just as I was quick to refute the negative aspects of my own sign.

I am Taurus.

Taurean Woman
When you come across a Taurus female, the first thing you will notice about her is her undefeatable emotional strength. She is capable of handling the severest of problems, without shedding even a single tear. She has the infamous Taurus temper, but it is seldom displayed. Atleast not until the provocation is too much to digest. She is as feminine as any other female, without the unnecessary tantrums. A Taurus woman has no desire of dominating her husband. She will let him handle the reins, infact this is what she secretly desires. She is independent and has a mind of her own, but she does not want to dominate in the relationship. Taurean women do not see social status while making their friends. They want to be friends with people who do not hide their true nature and come across as they really are.

Their friends may be a little weird, but they will not be phonies or hypocrites. In return, she will expect them to stand by her when she needs them. A Taurean woman also gets jealous, but only if you exceed the limits of casual flirtation. Everything has a limit and this also does. It's better not to provoke her anger or you will be very sorry. (I usually never let things get this far.)

She is brainy, but not too much interested in intellectual subjects. She is practical in her thinking and does not feel the need to indulge in mental gymnastics. She is balanced in her approach and you will hardly see her in a restless disposition.

A Taurean girl hates anything artificial, be the flowers in her vase or the friends in her life. She has to feel the fragrance of real roses and the presence of real people. The beauty of Mother Nature especially pleases her. She loves to be amidst colorful surroundings, like gardens blooming with flowers. (This is why I'm in charge of the landscaping and why I love gazebos.) She is also very much interested in the art forms, like painting. She is a tomboy at heart and will enjoy many guy-things like horse riding, going on a roller coaster ride, fishing, etc.

Taurus women make excellent mothers, except for the fact that they cannot tolerate disobedience or defiance in kids. Laziness and carelessness also makes them angry. Otherwise, they will be more of a friend to their children than the typical mommies. (I desire to be the neighborhood mom, but that disobedience thing gets me every time.) A Taurus woman will also teach the kids how to be strong and will protect them from the big bad outside world. She never shirks from or whines about her responsibilities. Her man will be expected to do the same.

Here's where it begins to fall apart...

A Taurean female has good taste, so please be very careful before taking her out.
(I do? have you SEEN my wardrobe?? I guess no money has something to do with that. And when I was dating, the tomboy, practical side of me would not care what restaurant we went to.)

She is a very good cook herself and you will always be treated to excellent homemade food.
(I don't cook much. I can cook, but I'd rather not because I am a klutz. I drop things, spill things, go about things the long way. I can learn, but if there is someone else to do it for me, then I'll let them! Hubby says I make the best mashed potatoes. He is right. Also, I hate doing the dishes.)

She is a very good host and will be there to help her man in any and every way she can.
(I am not a good hostess..I need to be taught.)

A Taurean woman will care for you when you are ill, will back you in your new business venture and let you take over the control of the home. And, you will always be treated to a warm, cozy home when you come back from office!


(I do help my hubby and care for him and the kids when they are sick. But the warm cozy home, well, only if I remove myself from the computer to do it! *sheepish* I desire a warm cozy home, though. The visual organization nails me to the wall..)

Another one
:
..is blessed with a charming and fascinating personality. Due to her magnetic personality, she becomes center of attraction in any party or event. Taurean woman typically has a rounded body with a thick neck and a broad forehead. She has a beautiful complexion, bright eyes, dark hair, broad shoulders and well-developed muscles. She has a nice, friendly way of communication. Taurean women are very careful about their appearance and need to have a strict diet to attain slimness. They are very careful about their appearance, be it hairstyle, beauty treatments or wearing attractive clothes.
(Again with the appearance! I guess I pay attention to it, but can't do anything about it.)

Negative Traits

Taurean women are too possessive about their belongings. They are too lazy and have a tendency to live life the easy way. They are somewhat stubborn and lose some good opportunities due to this nature. Being fond of food, they have a tendency to gain weight.

(Yep.)


Here's where it falls short..

A career that requires social interaction is most suitable for the Taurean women. Since Taurean women lack in originality, they are not able to initiate great plans. They can follow the ideas of others. Due to great organization skills, Taurean women can effectively work in the world of politics and finance. They can be excellent artists, photographers and gardeners.

(Social interaction, yes, a must, but politics? no way. finance? not really. organized?? if controlled chaos is organized.. and artists, photographers, gardeners, yeah I can go for that, but those aren't really money makers are they? Guess I'm doomed to write.)

And yet another:
  • will complete tasks which others find boring or too difficult, amongst other aspects making her very sensible and reliable.
  • highly sentimental and emotional over loved ones, possessions and even routines. As might be surmised from all this, she really doesn’t like change, and can be very hard to persuade!
  • She dislikes and avoids risk, and tends to be gentle and tolerant of others, with a strong sense of honor and integrity. Practical and stable, she has an above average level of common sense.
  • Sensible with money, it’s likely she’s astutely tuned to financial matters and material gain, and may come across as frugal. In her defense, this isn’t due to greed, but because money equals security and stability in today’s world. It’s the ‘security and stability safety net’ which she values, and not wealth for its own sake. If she already has that security net in place then you’ll find she’s more than happy to share it with loved ones, even to the point of being overly generous.
  • likes gardening, which aligns to many of her core values - growing, nurturing, patience, practicality etc.
  • Her relative shyness in the bedroom also makes it that much more fun to try and corrupt her a little!
An here's the kicker, an explanation provided by this website for why we don't all fit the mold:

"There are many other planets which can have an equal or greater effect on their personality. Makes sense, as ultimately everyone is of course unique."

This one doesn't go into enough depth to have anything specific to nitpick, since they cover their claims with the statement above.

So, does it match? Yeah, but are there others that match as well? Sure. I had this discussion with Eloquent Mess, whereupon he was to guess my sign. He didn't get it right off. Then again, he is no expert.

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Thursday, January 6, 2011

If I Came with an Operator's Manual..

 30 Interesting Facts About Me

1. I just became an Aunt for the 5th time today! (what? it's a fact, and it's interesting!)

2. I am right handed.

3. My favorite animal is a dolphin.

4. My favorite movie is probably Casper, just because the scene at the end was so romantic and I watched it at an impressionable age. It makes me sigh.

5. My favorite color is blue. My eyes are blue.

6. I love Victorian houses. I love the gingerbread woodwork, the gables, the porches, the round gazebo turret-type room or porch area. Not so fond of the busy wallpaper.

7. I am a licensed special ed teacher until later this year when it will expire and I will have to renew. My elementary ed license is expired and I can't renew without 6 hours of college credit. I substitute, and you all know how kids treat substitutes!

8. I sometimes eat the leftovers on my kid's plate. I will share food with them. Waste not!

9. I was born with a heart murmur. I grew out of it by age 12.

10. I am very short. 4th graders and 5th graders enjoy telling me they are as tall as me or taller. I'm 5 feet tall with my shoes on. Most people who talk to me online are surprised to learn that I am short. I just have a LARGE personality!

11. I love paper. Keep me away from the school supply section in August! As a writer, I want to fill those notebooks up! I love the smooth edges of a stack of sheets. I love the white spaces between the blue lines. I like to use different notebooks for different stories, ideas, or topics.

12. I am a visual organizer. I like stuff where I can see it. I like things in separate containers, don't mix my stuff! It's okay to put it behind a closed door, but don't mess up my organization!

13. I've been to 4 concerts in my life.

  • One was a mass concert event, where a bunch of bands show up in one place for days of music. I got autographs from a one-hit-wonder band I liked. I made my friend Michelle stand in live with me for like 45 minutes to get them. She didn't like them at all. Now that's friendship!
  • One was at King's Island in Cincinnatti, but all I remember were the rides. I went on my first rollercoaster ever! Then followed that up with 3 more.
  • Then a church in town contacted an artist as she was touring and since she was passing through, she stopped at this church and my youth group went to hear her. She autographed my cassette tape. Yeah, I said cassette.
  • And lastly, an up-and-coming artist stopped at my church, and we hosted another youth group for a small concert there.
14. I dream of going to a Ficly Convention one day and meeting the fabulous members of this writing community. Maybe one day I'll help organize it!

15. I never went on a family vacation as a kid. We had many trips to grandma's, you know, over the river and through the woods, in the car for 2-4 hours depending on which grandma's house was our destination.

16. I've never seen the ocean, so going on a family vacation to see the ocean is on my bucket list. Ideally, a cruise.

17. I drive a tiny, red, Geo Metro from '92, before Chevy bought Geo, and it gets a good 40 miles to the gallon. Not even a luxury hybrid can pull that off. So laugh all you want about my old vehicle that needs repairs, but I spend less on gas, plates, and insurance!

18. I took 4 years of spanish in high school and was nearly fluent, okay maybe not nearly, but I don't feel confident enough to try any!

19. I married my prom date. 3 years later.

20. I'm quiet at first, but once I warm up, I don't shut up. Talking to someone will keep me up all night.

21. If I have to, I'll lead. I prefer to shine in the background until I feel comfortable, but if I have to step up because no one else will, then I'll take the bull by the horns.

22. Sometimes I check into things in a frenzy of good intentions, (like jobs or college) and then decide it's not going to work out and back out, often offending those who were involved. I never know when to apologize.

23. I'm terrible at thank yous. Like if something is minute and it just seems polite, like someone pickign up an item, I will. If something is huge, like a gift of a large sum of money, I will. But if someone chooses to give me something because I asked, or because they felt obliged to bestow a kindness on me, I forget. I am humbled, and I smile a lot, and I cherish the gift, but I forget to say thanks.

24. I'm a gift giver. If I could, I'd give people gifts from the kindness of my heart and not expect thanks at all. That's probably why I'd forget to give it. I don't expect it, and if the tables are turned and the person giving a gift to me expects thanks, they get disappointed. But I'm working on it.

25. I am making a conscious effort to eat healthier this year. I have been working toward this goal for a while, because it is mostly mental. I don't crave that food. I don't need that food. My body needs x, y, and z, not a, b, and c.

26. I think I am allergic to tree pollen. Never been tested. My allergies coincide with the flowering of certain trees. I could be wrong.

27. I play too many facebook games. I admit it. But I have limited myself to playing only in the evenings when my brain is mush anyway, so I'm not losing precious gray matter. It also ensures I pay attention to my family.

28. I resolve to stay off the internet as much as possible before 3 o'clock so as not to go into withdrawal when I get a real job. YOU HEAR ME?! WHEN! (oh that was to my inner critic who wants to be lazy)

29. I hate doing the dishes. We even have a dishwasher! I still hate it.

30. You will be my friend forever for a good back massage!


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Wednesday, January 5, 2011

A Non-Answer is Still An Answer

Day 5: A Time You Thought About Ending Your Own Life

I haven't.

I mean there are times when I am so congested and sick that I sarcastically ask hubby to shoot me.. but that's not real thoughts of suicide.

And when I was a boyfriend-less teen I would wonder who would come to my funeral, (a.k.a. who were my real friends?) and wish for someone earthly to know me (a soul mate) and pull me out from despair over my lacking love life. But that doesn't count.

So um, never.

I guess I just knew that death wasn't an answer. And no matter how crappy life gets, I still don't wish to end it.


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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Futility of Man vs A Doctrine of Love: A Memoire

Day 4: Your views on religion

Oh what a giant can of worms this topic opens! Now what angle to come at this from?

I started going to a little christian church when I was in 2nd grade. We had moved to our family farm, having cleared acreage and bought a single-wide trailer to live in while we built our house. Going to church was a symbol of our settling into this new farm community. My mother went to church as a child and wanted her children to be raised similarly.

This particular chapel wasn't for us when they began to split, some following the pastor who left to shepherd others. I was too young to understand why he left, but I did understand snobs and I felt some of the people there thought they knew better than others. I was upset about leaving. That was the church where I learned about Jesus and where I gave my heart to him.

The new church was friendly and I soon wanted to go to Sunday school with my peers. I had the most wonderful high school sunday school teacher and my sophomore year brought me to youth group with a new leader who was also fantastic. I did a study on Revelation, underlined and highlighted my Bible, and switched to Christian music, which I still commit to to this day.

My personal experiences shaped me into who I am today and religion plays a huge role in my makeup. Especially the teachings of Jesus who preaches and leads by an example of love.

Is religion tearing the world apart? Yep. There's been spiritual warfare since the fall of an angel, and human warfare since one tribe saw another from a distance. Make that, since one brother became jealous of the other.

Who is right? Only God knows. If you don't believe in Him, then no one knows.

Do you have to pick a side? Even agnosticism is a side.

Can't we all just get along? We are all sinful, with pride and jealousy, so um, as humans, no, we can't.

Can we try? Yep, but it requires daily discipline to keep our minds and bodies in check. Even best friends fight sometimes. Feelings get hurt, even between lovers. And if lovers can spat, then think about whole countries trying to get along with each other!

So is it futile to love? No, love is the only way to overcome our sinful natures, always wanting to pick fights. Love is the only way we ever get any happiness. Kindness comes from love. Kindness, even its most basic form, tolerance, or self-restraint even, cannot come from hate. If we lack even that, we will kill ourselves.

So my view of religion is basically to love. Were it not for my church, my parents, and my own study, I'd be loveless.

Someone who says it better: Alexys Fairfield (link to a post)
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anyway, because it was all I knew. Self-restraint comes from self-love.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Not Even An Issue

Day 3: My views on Drugs and Alcohol

Too easy: They are BAD!

Just watch some documentaries if you don't believe me. Read the paper. Drunken drivers die, or cause deaths. Drug babies fill our education system with special needs that could have been prevented, and continuing users put their children at risk for abuse and neglect, often sending them to foster care.

What about social drinking or mild overuse of prescription meds?

If you've been raised to drink sociably and responsibly, stopping when you're buzzed, then don't drive home. Have a nice time! Have a glass of wine with dinner. It's supposed to be good for your heart. But if you can't tell when to stop, or desire to drink more, then you are abusing the privilege.

And if you overuse your meds, you still get fired from your job.

There is not a gray area for me. I don't know why this is even question. It's not an issue for debate or discussion. Drugs and alcohol are bad, period.


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Sunday, January 2, 2011

The Distant Future

Day 2: Where You'd Like to Be in 10 Years

This is hard for me.

Where I'd
like to be?

Well, I could either go all outrageous or all realistic.

In 10 years, my oldest will be turning 18, we'll be planning his
graduation party and his college acceptance letters will be coming in. The youngest will be 13 and a half and contemplating a future without his big brother around so much. They will probably have moved into separate bedrooms.

I hope to have most of the yard
landscaped and the improvement projects done. We'll still be paying on the house.

I hope to have a
book out there, maybe several.
At the very least, I hope to have a
job that contributes to a retirement fund.

I hope we've been on some
family vacations.

I hope to be
comfortable with my weight and activity level.

I hope to be able to look back on my 30s and say
I lived them as best I could. I guess that means checking a few items off my bucket list. If we get to do family vacations, that's easy enough.

Most of all, the next 10 years will be full of
parenting and fighting the battles that go with child rearing; spiritual, emotional, and tactical.

Outrageously, I will have won
multimillion dollars in the lottery, constructed a green-er, self-efficient mansion in the woods with a lake and a barn and a small cabin for camping like the boxcar children and have plans for a pirate-themed waterpark. After we get back from a couple years of cruises, and RV trips across the country, of course. :) I also will have planned a Ficly Convention.

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Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year, My Love!

Day 1: Your Current Relationship

When you think about living a new year to its fullest and cherishing moments and people because they are most important to you, you think first and foremost about your closest circle of friends and family. No one is closer than your spouse.

I am so fortunate to have someone who has been with me for almost 12 years, almost 9 years married, who still thinks I am beautiful, still puts me and our relationship first, still wants to take me out on dates, and still misses me enough to text me 3 times a day from work.

There are times during the day when something happens, maybe a cute kid saying, maybe an ironic commercial, maybe a stupid driver on the road caused a freak accident, and I just want to tell him right away. He's still my best friend.

I recently became so enraged at the kids, I was yelling and nagging and raving and making them cry, and he just grabbed me by the shoulder and shoved me out of their room. I needed that. It was not positive parenting. It was not helping anyone, except me a little to get the frustration out, but I could have done it in a healthier way. I had to go back and tell my kids that I loved them so they wouldn't have bad dreams. My husband knows my limits, and he stepped in to keep me from doing more damage. I am far from perfect.

He cooks dinner (and often breakfast and lunch), reaches for the stuff on the high shelf, fixes my car, shares my thought patterns, changes diapers (though we'd better not have to do that much longer!), washes dishes, and earns the money. Despite the ranting I sometimes do about the heinous things like leaving milk and cereal in the bowl in the sink, he's a great man. He gives massages, pops my back, and keeps me warm at night. He makes me laugh almost every day. Those are the 4 things I love most!

What makes a marriage work is good communication, compromise, and equality.
  • Share your feelings,
  • Use separate bathrooms at times,
  • Help each other,
  • Do things for one another and together,
  • and Keep the spark alive, if you get my drift.

Thank each other, hug each other, kiss, find moments alone, and keep your promises.

One of the best things to do is share your dreams: your goals, your reasons to save money, to motivate you to sit at the computer instead of mopping the floor (okay that's me), and your bucket list.

This is followed by showing you love them, saying you love them, and explaining why, right at this moment you can't do what he asks because you have a naked toddler to chase down, a spill to clean up, and muffins in the oven ready to come out.

I asked him what he wants to see me change in the new year and his response was exactly as I expected: "This is one of those Does-this-make-my-butt-look-fat questions that starts fights. You are perfect as you are." And when I explained that I hadn't meant it that way, he said the other half of how I expected him to, "You have the same goals as last year, you just need to implement them this year." Yes. And I asked if that was sad, because it is sad to me, and he said, "No. You just need to focus on a plan." He's right, and I have been thinking these exact same things.

Happy New Year, My Love, and a toast to making plans!

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