Monday, January 25, 2010

Mystery Post Monday-Decisions

My sister recently started a weekly post she is calling Mystery Post Mondays, and I'm going to jump on board whenever I can and participate! The topic randomly selected this morning pertains to decisions, and more specifically, the best decision that I have made this month.

I can tell you quite confidently that not only one, but three decisions I made after this morning's trip to Target, will no doubt prove to be the best of the month. Let me detail the perfect storm of unfortunate factors that left me feeling the need to apologize to any of you who have may have seen me and my children from 11:00-12:00, and which also consequently led to the making of the three fabulous decisions that will hopefully serve as protection for future outings.

Everything was starting off A-okay. Since it was right before lunch, I decided to let the girls have some popcorn while we strolled, in hopes of staving off the inevitable, "I'm hungry. I'm really, really hungry," remarks that begin pouring out as we go down the food aisles near noon. So I got the popcorn, and just because I really wanted it to be a fun trip I got the blue Icee too. I didn't stop there. I also allowed the girls to ride in that horrific contraption posing as a convenient way to push two young children through the store: the two-seater cart. The girls were ready for some serious fun.

My first clue that trouble was lurking came the moment I stuck the straw into the Icee. Up to this point, Adrienne has had no desire for anything but milk or water, but let me tell you, all of that has changed. As soon as she saw the icy blueness, she went crazy. She wanted it. All of it.

If you've ever been in similar circumstance, you can pretty much guess the rest. There is nothing fun about refereeing one small Icee between two thirsty girls, while manipulating that beast of a cart, and (yes, I really had dreamed to the moon and back) carrying my Starbucks. But that was just the beginning. The fun didn't really start until the popcorn, which had been placed in a nook at the feet of the girls, got kicked over in one of the Icee confrontations. Like a covering of snow, the popcorn blanketed the bottom of the cart where the girls feet went. This problem was magnified by the fact that the bottom of the cart actually had small slats instead of solid plastic, which allowed all of that popcorn to drop out, piece by piece, throughout the store. I spent the rest of the trip picking up popcorn as it dropped, every few feet or so, and sometimes, actually getting down on all fours to sweep it into piles with my hands. It was ugly, I'm not going to lie to you. And the worst part was knowing it was a mess of my own making. The girls would have been just find sans the food, drink, and fancy cart. Sure, Marianna might have said she was hungry and Adrienne might have reached her hand out to a box of crackers, but since when did that hurt anybody?

The self-induced torture was completed while we were checking out. The buckle on that dad gum seat couldn't keep Adrienne contained, and while she was taking advantage of the still cart to scramble out, the Icee was knocked out, right in front of a perfectly put together mother of two, whose knees weren't blackened from frequent encounters with the Target floor, and whose children were sitting, quiet and content in a normal cart. I scrambled to pick it up, and found that a small puddle of blue had leaked out. I looked around for anything I could grab to clean it, and of course, came up with nothing. In desperation, I grabbed the paper that I had written my Target list on, and got down on my hands and knees, again, to clean it up. We all know paper isn't absorbent, and unfortunately my embarrassing circumstances didn't change that fact. I was sincerely hoping that, just this time, the paper would do the trick. Sadly, it didn't.

Finally I escaped (but only after my cart gave me one parting stab by getting stuck against the register station) and by the time my feet touched the parking lot pavement, my three decisions were made.

1. I will never push that dreadful two-seater cart ever again.
2. Popcorn anywhere besides a movie-theatre is a menace. Stick to a sucker.
3. Icees will come in twos or not at all.

Those are the guidelines I will be living by for all future Target trips from now until forever. And even if they are not the best decisions for the month, they certainly come with the best story.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

the zoo...

is, among many things, a great place for camera experimentation! I don't know what I'm doing, but I'm enjoying pressing buttons and finding out through trial and error what works. One day maybe I'll feel competent behind a camera, but today that is definitely not the case. I'm trying not to become frustrated or overwhelmed, and instead to focus on the little victories. Like taking a picture that I can share with you that doesn't look half bad! Here are a few of my favorites from this morning's outing.

The last one is of my niece, Allie. This sweet little girl just found out she's a big sister! For Marianna and Adrienne, that means one more beloved cousin, and there just can't be enough of those.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

the battle of the (in)dulge

I love January. It always feels so fresh after the crammed excitement of November and December. I love how it inspires people to try and aim for better things in the year to come, namely in area of food and exercise. I remember several years ago when I worked at Starbucks the company went all out with a January campaign for fat-free, sugar-free, vanilla lattes. It made me laugh to think of the slightly hypocritic promotion department that had been cramming peperment mochas and white chocolate mochas and every other kind of indulgence down consumers throats for the previous months, now encouraging their loving public to drink responsibly.

January is a month to fight the indulgence from the year before. Did I waste too much time last year? Did I forget to exercise during the past 365 days? Did I get lazy in my relationships? Did I let the closets and junk drawers go to pot?

Any of that can change at any point, but there is just something about January. It's a clean slate, mentally if not literally, and it's as good a time as any to start. I don't think these things necessarily need to be resolutions either. Sometimes the word "resolution" is more of a set up for failure than anything else. But it is a time to aim for better, to set goals, to be more focused and less indulgent of our weaknesses.

There are couple areas I'm trying to hammer away at right now. The biggest item on my list is time. I realized how much time I was wasting with things that over time add up to a big fat zero. The internet, my black hole of time consumption, is probably the biggest culprit for wasted time, but there are other areas too. So instead of filling up my days with a bunch of distractions, I want to do more things that I look back on and think, "That was a great way to have invested time."

I was also inspired yesterday to prioritize organization! I'm not generally messy, but I'm big time guilty of letting my spaces (closets, drawers, storage bins) accumulate. More and more and more eventually adds up to junky, and there is just no getting around it: Organization require de-junking.

I have plowed through the girls closets, my closet, the play room, and most recently, my pantry! I'll throw pride to the wind and tell you that I found more than one item in the pantry with an expiration date of 2007 or before. And when I say more than one, I mean enough to fill up a 13 gallon trash bag. I knew it wasn't often that I reached to the back row of my pantry shelves, but goodness gracious! Some of that stuff must have been back there for upwards of four years. Oh my. Hopefully another half-decade will not pass before the next total pantry cleansing.

So there it is. Gut level honestly laid out for you all to see. I was not one to clean out pantries or closets, but that is true no longer! I'm trying to take an honest look, see where I've indulged in the past, and get to work to make it different.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Revving Up

Slowly but surely, I am going to get into the swing of things this new year. I haven't blogged in about two weeks, and no, I haven't even thought of any good topic for today. I've been on overload I suppose. So much Christmas, family time, birthdays, New Year's celebrating, getting back into the swing of work, and house cleaning that the blog has fallen by the way side. Fortunately no New Year's resolutions were made regarding blog faithfulness, so none have been broken =).

I have thought about it now and again, if that makes it any better. I would in passing think something like, "When in the world am I going to put something on my blog?" and that would be it. My self-question was never self-answered. Then my subconscious took it one step further. I had a dream two nights ago that our house had been burglarized—a very realistic dream, I might add—and I distinctly remember in the dream thinking, "Well, at least I finally have something to blog about." But thankfully I woke up and found that while I didn't have a blog topic any longer, I did have a house untouched by vandals.

So where to start is the question. Since I'm stumped, I'm going to go with my friend Laurin's ingenius method for blogging when inspiration alludes. So here goes 10 things about our life in the past 10 days.

1. This year was the year of stockings!!! I am lover of stockings, while at the same time recognizing that my stocking days are in the past. But this year both my mom and Nathan's decided to go old school in the stocking department, which means Nathan and I loaded up on gum, candy, and gift cards! Such a fun surprise.

2. We loved having Nathan's brother, sister, and three nieces in town for such a long, wonderful visit!

3. Cousins every day for 10 days=2 very happy girls.

4. It also=sleep deprivation for both of those happy girls, which at times made them into unhappy girls. But it was worth every sleep deprived second, especially since all the lost rest is made up for now.

5. Nathan is now dangerously close to entering a new decade. He turned 29 on the 26th, and I love him more now—middle aged as he might be—than I ever have before!

6. I pick out just about all of his birthday presents, making it no coincidence that I often like many of the things he gets. This year is no exception, with Super Mario Brothers for the Wii ranking at the top of Angie's list of favorite gifts Nathan received for his birthday. We have already beaten the game and saved the princess, in case you wanted to know ;)

7. The Adrian Rogers Legacy Bible just came out, and I am so excited about getting to read through the Bible with so many of my grandfather's sermons and notes right along side. Such an amazing thing!

8. After having spent two years in a row beginning our New Year's eve celebration at Shogun, I think I'm ready to make it a tradition. We don't eat Japanese food any other time of the year, but on New Year's eve, it just seems to hit the spot. Plus it take two hours to finish the meal, and with a whole night to burn before midnight, why not?

9. I have run four measly times since the race. And with the temps as they are, I don't see that changing any time soon. Maybe February will be warmer...

10. Adrienne completed her maiden voyage out of her crib without assistance today. I'm anxious to see how that will change life from here on out.