Saturday, December 31, 2011

The Great Outdoors

Happy New Year's Eve! It's days like this I'm reminded while Jimmy and I toil away to stay living in Southern California. With the roommates, and baby in room equaling no room for us it seems kind of crazy. But on a day like today it's worth it. It is absolutely beautiful out. There are not too many places you can wear a T shirt and flip flops on New Year's Eve! It feels like spring outside and staying indoors during weather like this should be a crime.

The whole family had lunch on the patio today. We even brought Mitzie out there, which is rare for her. Because she has a paranoid mother who keeps her indoors. When I adopted her I signed an adoption contract agreeing to keep her as an indoor cat. I'm a woman of my word. Plus there are all sorts of coyotes and things around here. I don't need to be kept up late worrying about where my cat is. The days of being kept up late worrying will come soon enough as Brynlee gets older. But once in a while we will let Mitzie out under supervision. She does enjoy it out there. She even stayed right on our patio, which is unusual. Because usually when she gets out she runs into a bush and will not come out unless Jimmy or I physically drag her out. Anyhow, we all sat outside an enjoyed this lovely weather.

But there are things to do, so we all came inside to be semi productive. Jimmy is at the store and Brynlee is sleeping. I'm trying to clean my room, but I have like outdoor ADD on days like this. I just want to go back outside. I don't want to be inside right now. I remembered a time when I was like 13 ish. My room was always a mess. Bless their hearts my parents tried, but it was just always messy. I'd clean it and it would get back to messy within probably 3 days or so. And it would continue to get worse until I was forced to clean it.

I remember one specific Saturday all my friends were going to Magic Mountain. I was not allowed to go, because I had to clean my room instead. As per usual, it looked like 3 tornadoes had gone through it. I was bummed to say the least. My Mom woke me up that Saturday morning by sitting on the edge of my bed. She told me it was too nice out to be stuck inside cleaning, and that I could go to Magic Mountain with my friends instead. I was so excited. I'm sure I eventually cleaned my room. But that is not the part of the story I remember. I remember thinking that day thinking I had the best Mom. She is pretty great. I hope I'll be like that with Brynlee when she gets older. It's important to be strict with your children. But it's also important to give a little sometimes. I love you Mom. :)

Unfortunately today I'm still being forced to clean my room. Now by my husband rather than parent. I guess some things never change! Hopefully I can get him to see the value of this beautiful weather, and how asinine it is to waste it cleaning!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Paying it Forward

I try to do something special every year for Christmas. I usually buy a toy for a child from those little giving trees in Wal-Mart or something. One time they had a tree for seniors. I loved that one! It was for elderly people who are in nursing homes. It's easy to forget that sometimes old people need Christmas presents too.

Those little giving trees in Wal-Mart seemed to have gone away though, because I haven't seen them in a few years. I felt bad this year having not donating anything. But money is tight so I just shrugged it off. But the nagging feeling continued, and I felt like I needed to do something. Anything. Giving to other people is what Christmas is all about right?

I read stories of layaway accounts at K-Marts across the country being paid off by random strangers. What a great idea! I told Jimmy for sure we are going to do that next year. Probably not with a $200 one or something, but with a smaller one. Then my mother in law told me a story about how my sister in law Nancy had her food paid for by the car ahead of her in the Jack in the Box drive thru. What a great idea! I'd never heard of this before. But what a nice simple thing to do for someone to spread the Christmas spirit. To keep it going, Donna paid for the food for a car behind her in a different Jack in the Box drive thru. I decided this was a perfect thing for me to do. Simple and easy, and hopefully not too expensive.

On Christmas Eve Brynlee and I went to McDonalds. Of course I had to pick McDonalds since it's my favorite! We ordered a small soda, and when I got to the window to pay I told the man I wanted to pay for the car behind me. He looked at my kind of curiously at first, and then told me the man's total was $14. $14?! It was one man in a car, what did he order? I almost asked how much the car behind that one's total was. :) But I paid the $14, and booked it out of there. So awkward, I didn't need the man trying to thank me or something. Totally uncomfortable! As I was bolting away as fast as my car could take me, I saw the car behind me flash his lights to say thank you. Yay! I hope he keeps the train going and paid for someone else. I love Christmas time. Because people do things like that for each other, and it makes me so happy.

We had a great Christmas. That will have to be a whole different post in itself. Brynlee was spoiled rotten. Big surprise there!

I'm off this whole week, so I decided to run a stupid errand I've been dreading. For about 19 months. I never got a copy of Brynlee's birth certificate when she was born. She was born in LA County, and the only way to get a copy of it was to either fill out a form, get it notarized and mail it in. Or, to drive to downtown LA in person and get it there. Ugh. Neither of those are very appealing. Today I bit the bullet. I dragged Carla with me, and we drove to LA to get a copy. We only got lost about 10 times. That stupid city! I HATE driving down there! I'm so not a city driver. All the traffic and people stress me out. After a trip through the ghetto ( seriously, we were lucky to get out alive), china town and echo park we made it to our destination. In a very round about way. When I tried to pay for the birth certificate (because it costs $19. To get my own child's birth certificate) they told me they don't take Visa. They only take Master Card, Discover and Amex. Discover? Is that credit card even still out there? Who doesn't take Visa? Carla had to write a check for me because I didn't have my check book. What a mess. We finally made it home, after getting lost about 10 more times on the way home. Not that any of this is surprise to me. I practically get lost in my own house. So a trip to LA wouldn't be complete without a few wrong turns!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Great to be Grateful

So, in case you couldn't tell from my previous post, I've been feeling a little sorry for myself recently. I knew life would be tricky being in school and trying to take care of a family while also trying to make ends meet. But it really is hard, and sometimes it bums me out. I'm still completely happy with my decisions to go back to school, but it is rough. And unfortunately it seems like the holiday season magnifies that. It seems like in some aspects we CANNOT catch a break, and I don't understand why. But I don't have to understand why. I need to have faith that it will get better.

So, rather than being a mope I decided to do something about it. I found this challenge in the New Era Magazine. That is a magazine the LDS church publishes for teenagers, so I often refer to it to teach my Sunday School lessons.

The challenge was to write 100 things are you are grateful for. I know 100 seems a bit overwhelming. When I told Jimmy we were going to write 100 things we were grateful for, he stared at me like I was crazy. I did this same activity with my Sunday school class, and they too looked at me like I'd grown a 3rd eye. But it's not so bad when you follow the lists below:

•Write 10 living people you are grateful for.

•Write 10 people who have died you are grateful for.

•Write 10 physical abilities you are grateful for.

•Write 10 material possessions you are grateful for.

•Write 10 things about nature you are grateful for.

•Write 10 things about today you are grateful for.

•Write 10 places on earth you are grateful for.

•Write 10 modern-day inventions you are grateful for.

•Write 10 foods you are grateful for.

•Write 10 things about the gospel you are grateful for.

For those who are not LDS you can modify the last one to be something like 10 things about your religion you are grateful for, etc. Or just come up with 10 more foods you are grateful for, because the food were really easy for me to list.

After Jimmy and I listed all our things, we shared them with each other. It was fun to see what the other person thought of. And it made me feel happy. And grateful. We are keeping our lists, and we are going to refer to them when we are feeling defeated by life. I was glad Jimmy was a trooper and did this activity with me, despite the whole having to come up with 100 things. I think it made both of us feel a lot better. I recommend it to anyone out there who is having a rough time. It really helps!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

I Wish

I wish...

I could be different.

That I could be organized, and stay that way.

That I could be satisfied with what I have, and not desire more.

That when I get asked awkward questions about my religion I could answer them gracefully, and not stumble all over my words.

That I had more patience with my family. Mainly one little member who makes a mess everywhere and seems to really know how to push buttons.

That I was fearless, and not always worrying about consequences.

That I knew how to communicate better.

That I had the desire to eat healthy and work out. But right now, I just don't have it.

That I stood up for myself more, and was more honest with my feelings.

That I could prevent myself from crying at really in opportune times.

That I was happy with the way that I am, and didn't want to be different.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

A Peak

I get to stare in a mirror all day long. I'm not sure how healthy it is. I pick and poke and prod. I notice things about my appearance I never noticed before. I wonder about appearances in general.

Looks are for the most part based on luck. Some are lucky enough to look a certain way. Some are not. It's like a genetic lottery. There are people who no matter what they do will never be considered "attractive" by society. And that sucks. Who gets to decide what is and isn't attractive anyhow? As I'm surrounded by all these fresh faced youth I can't help but wonder. Inevitably you hit a peak with your appearance. A point where you stop getting better looking, and it all starts going downhill. When is that peak? I think I may have passed it. That sucks too.

I notice bags that were not there before. Wrinkles that were not there before. Hmm... I guess it was my 27 years of hard living? Ha ha. When people tell me I look like I'm in my early 20's I get excited. When did that start? Me wanting to look younger as opposed to older. I had a client ask me if I live at home with my parents the other day. No offense to 27 year olds who do live with their parents, but she made me laugh. I told her I was married with a baby, and she thought I was joking. I'll take that as a compliment.

I find myself feeling slightly lonely in my class. I'm used to this, being LDS and all. But it's still tough sometimes. I'm just different. I don't miss school because I'm too hung-over from the night before. I don't go smoke pot on breaks. I don't have hilarious stories to tell of what I did when I was completely wasted last weekend. Being old and LDS I do really stand alone. Like the cheese in the Farmer in the Del ( yes I think I'm funny, I'm cracking myself up right now). I don't have another choice though. I refuse to lower my standards because everyone else has. But it gets lonely and I was feeling it today.

I'm working on not passing judgment on my classmates. Just because my physical peak has passed (sob sob) doesn't mean my personality peak has. I can continue to perfect that one. And that is the quality that counts anyway! I'm grateful to have this opportunity to be a good influence on my classmates. To shower them with my wisdom, and to hopefuly lead by example.

I did a men's haircut today. My client was the nicest man ever. Seriously. Who knew people could be so nice? He really made my day. Hopefully one day I can make someone's day with my niceness. It's all part of my goal to reach my personality peak. And to stay on that one!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Christmas Cactus

I've had some trouble getting into the Christmas spirit this year. It seems like as each year passes, the less excited I get. It bums me out. I guess I really am growing up. Or grown up already.

Maybe once Brynlee is old enough to actually do stuff it will be fun. As of right now she just makes a mess of everything and my OCD strikes and I freak out a little. I want to get our Christmas Tree ( no we don't have one yet, we are going this Saturday) and decorate it while she is sleeping. And then gate it off so she can't touch it. I know, I'm horrible. But she will make it a mess and I want it to be nice and pretty, the way I want it decorated. I always go around behind Jimmy and move his ornaments into better spots. I've got issues...

Something that does get my excited is my Christmas Cactus. A few years ago my Grandma sent me this Christmas Cactus. She lives far away, but always sends a Christmas present. She is such a unique gift giver. She puts a lot of thought into her presents. I don't exactly have a green thumb, so when I opened up this cactus I wasn't sure what she was thinking. It was pretty, as pretty as a cactus can be. But it was just that. A cactus. After a week or so it got these pretty little flowers all over it. A week or so later they all fell off and it was just a plain cactus again. Not sure what to do with it, I put it on my window sill. Shockingly I managed to keep it alive for a whole year. Grandma sure is wise to give me a plant that is hard to kill! Anyhow the next year, around Christmas time it started to bloom with pretty white flowers. The flowers lasted for a few weeks and then eventually fell off, leaving the plant looking just like a plain cactus again.

It did the same thing each December for the next two years. It still amazes me. How does it know to bloom during December? How is it a plant only blooms 1 time per year? So strange. This is the fourth year I've had it, and it's little buds are popping up and getting ready to bloom again. I'll post a picture when it does. But I wake up each day excited to see if it's bloomed. I LOVE that cactus. The fact that it blooms once per year makes it that much more special. It is by far one of my favorite presents I've ever received. Who would have thought I'd say that about a cactus? Every year when it blooms I think about my Grandma and it makes me smile.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

A Little Fib

I pride myself on my honesty. I really try hard not to lie to people. I try to be truthful in all my dealings. But sometimes I'm faced with a situation when there is no easy answer.

I was faced with one of these recently. In order to spare hurt feelings, I told a fib. I was invited somewhere my friend was not. I knew it would hurt her feelings, so I fibbed about it. Well, long story short my fib blew up in my face and ended up hurting her feelings even more. Failure. Now I hurt her and look like a liar on top of that. Ugh.

It's not like my fib benefited me in anyway either. Honestly I was just trying to spare feelings and not build up animosity. I should have known. I did know. Lying is never the right answer. But then I'm left to wonder, what is?

I find myself struggling recently. I don't understand why everyone can't just get along with each other. I have lots of fragments in my group of friends and I don't get it. I can get along with a wet paper sack (usually), so why can't everyone else do the same? Jimmy so kindly explained to me that to want everyone to get along is to live in a fantasy land. Some personalities just go better with others, end of story. Ok I'm not stupid. I get that. But why can't everyone have my personality. The get along with everyone kind. :) Ha ha.

I've realized that I should have just told my fore mentioned friend the truth and hurt her feelings. But it still sucks for me. Because who likes to hurt someone's feelings? Not me, that is for sure. I hate being in the middle of these things, and I seem to find myself there often these days. Like a liaison between different friends and different people. But I don't want to be in the middle anymore.

A girl at school said something really nice to me the other day. She told me that I always compliment people, and that I'm really nice. Yay! Such a nice thing to say. I do try to compliment people. If I see something I like, I say it. Why not? I love getting compliments, so why not give them out? Except I told Jimmy this story and he said that I'm a people pleaser. Ouch. I can always count on him for a nice dose of reality. Which to be honest I usually need. Ok, so he is right. But is that so bad? Wanting to please people?

I think that is the key to why I find myself stuck in the middle of people who cannot get along. I'm trying to please everyone, and by doing so getting stuck in between. I'm not having too much fun there these days though. I'm brewing up some New Year's resolutions. I think one of them will to be to focus on pleasing one person for now. Me. Yeah how about that. Maybe then I'll be able to get myself out of the middle of these things.

The moral of the story is this: Fibs never work. Ever. I need to remember that next time I think of doing it. It's not worth it. And if you like something about someone, say it. It makes them feel good, and it makes you feel good too. If you are lucky they might even call you nice. ;)

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Fever

Ok so I might have it a little bit. Just a little. Or maybe a lot. It's funny I never thought I would feel this way again. But I do. I'm starting to really itch for a baby.

Pre huge life changing decision of going back to school Jimmy and I planned to try to get pregnant again the beginning of next year. But after I quit and started school that changed a little bit. Not a whole lot, but it got pushed back a little. Having a baby in the middle of school would NOT be a good idea. I'm not sure how fun being hugely pregnant would be either. So we need to try to plan this a little.

The whole planning of having a baby is comical when you think about it. Just because we got pregnancy fairly quickly before doesn't mean we will get pregnant that soon again. You really can't plan. It will happen when it's supposed to. But we will start trying mid 2012. Or so. I keep thinking how fortunate we were to conceive Brynlee so easily. It's really not fair. Not fair to those couples who have been trying for so long. I feel like we just cut in line. And will likely cut in line again.

Mid 2013 will not be the most convenient time to have a baby either. Really there is not a convenient time. But we will make it work, because that is what we feel we need to do. This past while has really been a lesson in faith. I'm having faith that I'm making the right decisions with things. I'm not sure I've ever prayed as hard as I have about the recent decisions I've had to make. But I feel like I'm doing what I'm supposed to. No matter how silly or illogical it seems. I've been called crazy before, and it for sure will happen again.

But right now I'm baby crazy. I look at Brynlee and I can't believe what a beautiful little girl my baby has turned into. It goes by so fast. You blink and they've turned from a baby to a toddler. I can't wait to do things better with the next one. Hopefully. I mean next time I'll have Brynlee to help me. Right? Oh that's not how it works...hmmm...

Here's to enjoying watching Brynlee grow into a wonderful little helper. And here's to enjoying the simplicity of one child. I'm sure the next one will be here before I know it, and I'll think back to how easy 1 kid was!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Missing a Day

Brynlee has not been feeling well the past few days. I hate cold and flu season. I hated it before, but with a kid in day care it's 10000 times worse. Anyhow Jimmy stayed home with her on Tuesday, but she was still not doing real great. Of course we brought her to the Dr. Would you expect anything less? When that kid looks at me sideways, to the Dr we go. I'll probably break a record for how many times we've brought her in.

Just a viral infection, and nothing we can do about it. Which is good I guess. It could have been worse. Like that time she had to be admitted to the hospital worse. Yeah... I guess I'm grateful for the common cold after all. But I stayed home with her on Wednesday, and missed my first day of school. It's weird how nuts I am about missing school. Attendance is a big deal there, and I don't want to miss anything. But, if I have to miss a day I can't think of a better reason then to take care of a sick baby.

Now I'm just behind some of the other people, but that is ok. However I do hate being behind. Our school is going to do the hair and make up for the show Hairspray at Moorpark College next month, so I'm going to see if I can do that to make up some of my hours.

Brynlee is feeling better today, and that makes me happy. I really really hate it when she is sick. I get this panicked feeling. That it's something more serious and I'm not going to catch it until it's too late. I take her temperature every 20 min like a psychopath. If I'm home with her I just stare at her, and check her while she is napping like 50 times. I might be a little bit paranoid. Hopefully that will wear off a bit. I'm sure by the next kid I'll just toss a tissue at her and call it a day!

Lastly, I'm going to end with a quote I got from a LDS talk. The talk is about children, and it really hit home for me. It says:

"Children are not what you squeeze in when you have time, they are what you were given time for."

My baby needed me, so I did what I needed to do. The world kept turning. Everyone moved right along without me. I got to spend the day with one of my favorite people (and by far the most entertaining person I know), and it was totally worth missing 1 day of school.