NYE...and resolutions...and stuff...

It is definitely that time of year again. Honestly, it kind of snuck up on me. Christmas came and I got lost in the magic of this time of year. I've never been one for New Year's resolutions, really. I guess I've kind of jokingly made them...but almost never kept them. Last year it was to become more financially responsible and save more money. Didn't really happen. I've done the lose weight, exercise, become healthy routine. Didn't really happen. So, instead of a definite goal that I will hate myself for if I don't keep, I think I'm going to do something a little different this year.

I'm going to make a bucket list. Actually, i've kind of already started it. I have like 37 things on it already. Reading over them, I feel like a lot of them are just necessary life improvements, i.e. "learn not to cry so much over the little things." Seriously though, I am the biggest crybaby ever. I don't know how my tear resevoir hasn't dried up yet. I cry at commercials, reading books, listening to songs, over fights with friends/family, over fights between friends/family...and many other mundane life occurences. I cried once because my flower died! I didn't water it and I cried. Okay, so some of those are silly things that it doesn't really matter if I cry over them or not. However, instead of stressing out over little things and getting upset (and instigating the crying); I want to learn to channel it into something else...preferably productive, like exercise or creating something. I do like to bake and that is an outlet for me...it's jsut not that great for my hips.

Anyway, I got off topic a bit. I guess maybe my bucket list can be whatever I want it to be. I don't want to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro or swim the ocean, so mine are more self improvement topics. Plus, a few adventurous ideas like jumping out of a plane, visiting every continent, going on an African Safari...and a few more minor ones like taking a photography class and actually becoming decent at it, writing a book (yes, I realize it will likely never be published and that I will be the only one to read it and that it will be riddled with typos - I just feel like I have been through a lot (good and bad) in my life and I have a lot to say about it), and owning my own business. I will put a complete list on here when I get it edited fully.

The main thing I want for myself though? To not beat myself up if I don't complete every goal, resolution or bucket list item. I have to learn I have a life to live and it's not in the future. It's right now. Today is all that really matters. I'm going to take advantage of that. One day (hopefully soon) I want to be able to relate to this quote...

"Having spent the better part of my life trying either to relive the past or experience the future before it arrives, I have come to believe that in between these two extremes is peace." ~Author Unknown


Loss and hope

My office consists of a group of 56 amazing people. We are diverse in so many different ways. We represent several different religions, races, genders, ethnicities, socio economic status', marital status', sexual orientations, eye color, hair color, sizes, stles, etc...

The one common bond we have? The love for our state and the people in it.

As an office, we decided to "adopt" two homeless families. They are both single mother families. One mother has a boy who is 4, and a girl who is 5. They live in a local homeless shelter. The second family has twin boys who are 6 and another boy, who is 4. They lost their home due to a fire and are living with random family and friends. How could we not help them?

We got a list of their needs (most of them clothes, shoes and underwear)and set out to collect donations from colleagues. The generosity we encountered was overwhelming. Not one person refused to give anything or even said they couldn't. We are all pulled in so many directions during the holidays, I really thought there would be some who just couldn't do any more. But, because it was for our office, the camaraderie was there. Everyone showed up and it was amazing.

So, off I went shopping...for 4 hours, for two little boys. The experience was heartbreaking and warming, soul shaking and haunting. All I could think about was the fact that I just HAD to buy a new dress for the Christmas party and that my whole life goes downhill if I run out of my $13 eyeliner for just one day. How shallow am I?? I'm really not down on myself. I try to do a lot for people. I love to volunteer and try to bring joy to people's lives, especially to less fortunate children. I just know that my life could be a little less self-centered. I could wear one of the many dresses I have in my closet. I could not have a meltdown if I couldn't make it to the mall to buy my eyeliner and I could certainly learn to relax and not be so concerned about the small issues that come about in my life.

I have a wonderful grandmother who is very wise. While she is sympathetic and kind, she is also pretty no-nonsense. She's been through a lot and she has had to learn how to handle the inevitable trials of life. One of the best pieces of advice I have ever gotten from her is that when life gets you down..count your blessings. It's not necessarily what I wanted to hear at the time, but it has made me realize in certain circumstances that, no, it's really not that bad. So, in the holiday spirit and since I am in a gratuitous mood after my fund collecting and shopping experience, I thought I would list a few of my very special blessings for you (but mostly for me).

I have a home with readily available heating and cooling.
I always have the option of having a filling, warm and good meal.
So many clothes and shoes that I am actually embarrassed.
A job that I love going to every day, where I am treated well and fairly.
The right to vote, freely worship whatever God I choose, and protest my government peacefully, if I wish.
Many friends and family that love me and would do anything for me.
A reliable vehicle that I can fill with (sometimes) reasonably priced gas.
Amazing health insurance.
The ability to walk, see, hear, be in control of my emotions, and not depend on anyone else for any of those actions.
And many, many, many more...

Update: I just wrote a check for $180 for a Sugar Bowl ticket. While I am very excited about this adventure and so proudof my Hogs, I couldn't help but feel a twinge of guilt for spending so much money on something that, let's face it, is so trivial. I only justify it by remembering that it is okay to have fun and it serves as a good reminder that I only need to work harder and be more thankful for what I have.

So, I leave with you a quote from the great Philosopher, Plato...

"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle than you."


I'm ba-ack...

Oh dear. It has been three months since my last blog post. Honestly, I've all but given up. Then, my dear, far-away friend, Samantha, let me know she missed it. That made me feel good. Also, a new friend was asking me what I did creatively and I honestly couldn't think of anything, really. That made me sad. I want to be creative! All the things I do that I actually am good at creating - baking, knitting, writing - I haven't been doing lately. So...I will begin blogging again! Get excited.

Since I have written, we have won an election, (4 more years for my favorite Governor!), lost some elctions, and I have had to act like an adult for several major life experiences (car issues, wreck, house issues, life issues...) My hogs are making a major bowl appearance (pour some sugar on me!); I hung out with some pretty cool musicians (entertainer of the year,Brad Paisley!) and my first niece was born (Adelin Gale). It's been a whirlwind of a few months to say the least. I have gotten to experience some of my favorite things about fall in Arkansas...

The state fair - chocolate bacon or fried coke anyone?
Fall foliage - ummm, we have the prettiest leaves anywhere. Bar none. I'll fight ya over it.
Halloween - I was Holly Go-Lightly this year...but, in the scene when she is getting out of bed with the sleep mask and in a huge men's white button up shirt. Different and so fun.
Thanksgiving - one of my favorite holidays. I get to see my family all in one place and I always do something for someone in need. It's a win, win.
Porch sittin' weather - On my top ten list of things to do? Sit on any porch, anywhere in Arkansas with good friends and a beverage and enjoy Arkansas sunsets and cool breezes.
RAZORBACK FOOTBALL - some of the best times I've ever had have been at Arkansas Razorback games. It's a matter of pride...and competition.

I really think that's the best note to end on. Hopefully, my creative juices will get flowing again and I will come back more often. Maybe I just need some inspiration...


Uneventful events

Okay, so I'm sorry about my lack of blog writing the past few weeks. I guess it's because the whole point of my creating a blog was to write when I felt like I had something to say. That's not to say I've been completely bored. More like...not creative(uncreative? less creative? noncreative?). Let's recap a few things that have happend recently.

Roadtrip to Dallas with five girls. Okay, see, this had been planned for a long time, but panic mode didn't arise until zero minus 24 hours until the trip. Let me say it again in case you didn't catch it. Five girls. One car. Six hours. Too many bathroom stops. About half way into the trip I realized that I was not in high school/college any longer and girls are not as catty as they were back in the day. As a matter of fact, we had a great time with minimal bitchiness. The primary purpose of the trip was to see Brad Paisley and Darius Rucker in concert. Secondary, was a bit of shopping, a bit of pool time, and LOTS of eating. I highly recommend the chicken and waffles at Breadwinners, FYI.

Really, quite amazing.

Then, I went to the watermelon festival, took a pic with my oldest nephew and the gov, sweat until I was dehydrated, and met this guy...

He was so nice and talked to me about Arkansas politics. Perfect!

I mixed in some campaign events, fundraisers, baby and wedding showers, family visits, junior league events/meetings and experimental cooking. Oh, and then there was this...

Posted by Picasa

Stacey and I are a bit snobbish about musicians. This was an amazing experience!


That Little Back Bedroom

From the day I was born until I moved into the apartment on Preservation Drive in Fayetteville, I lived in a white brick house on Highway 371 just outside of Prescott. We were actually closer to a little community called Laneburg. And if you want to get really technical, my grandpa always called it Cruise Creek. There was a creek that ran from just south of our house to our farm about 5 miles away called "Little Terre Rouge Creek." This apparently means red earth in French, but we called it "Cruise Creek." I have no explanation for that.

I hope this is not too boring, but I just wanted to reminisce about my youth a little.

I was lucky enough to grow up on a farm. We had cows and donkeys. I named them all. The donkeys started off with Pretzel, Popcorn, Peanut...you get the picture. We had a vegetable garden that I helped plant and tend, and thought was fun until I knew better. I had the quinessential experiences of learning to drive on backwoods gravel roads and getting up at 2:00 a.m. during snowstorms to help birth calves. Okay, I'm not sure I actually helped, but I did have to get wrapped up in a blanket and sleep in the truck while it was being done.

Posted by Picasa

My little handprints are in two or three spots of concrete around the house. I have killed my fair share of snakes and rats. Exploring the woods was a favorite pastime. Don't worry though, I was protected by my fashionable rubber boots that were three sizes too big because they were handed down from my cousins.

I remember my grandpa laying down in the cool spot on the floor between the kitchen and living room when he came home for lunch after working in the sun. I would lay there with him. I thought it was the coolest thing ever that we could lay on the bare floor.

Not to sound too much like a country song, but it is where I learned to love Jesus. I heard my grandma's prayers at night and felt the safety as she asked Him to protect me. I found out the best lessons I would ever learn wouldn't come from college, my peers, or life experiences, but from a little white bible that I got when I was a baby. It taught me all I need to know. Everything important, anyway.

I have slammed doors in anger, stained pillows with my tears from heartbreak, laughed until I cried with happiness, hung my head in shame from guilt, and been so loved that my heart all but burst in that little white brick house on Rosston Road.

When I was growing up, I thought it was the worst place in the world to have to be. I was bigger than that, I had wings to spread and dreams to make come true. Now, I go back as often as I can. It's that sense of peace that you can't explain when you know you are loved and you can be your complete self.

Who says you can't go home?


Blackberry Santa

So, I came across this article...and it made me cringe.


Apparently, one-third of women in America check facebook before going to the bathroom, washing their face or brushing their teeth in the morning. I started thinking, do I do that? Have I done that? Would I do that? The answers are no, yes, and well...maybe.

I know you don't want to hear about my sleeping habits, but I need to give you a little background on my blackberry and bedroom logistics. My blackberry sleeps across the room from me on my desk. I did this with the hopeful (and turns out, wrong) notion that I would wake up, get up and turn it off, thereby prompting me to be chipper, awake and ready for the day.


The only thing that resulted from that bright idea was me having several stubbed, bruised and close to broken toes by tripping over evil, wooden things because of my sleepy half-closed eyes. Of course, the only thing that would make it better was to get back in bed and snuggle up in my cozy comforter and pillows. The best laid plans...

But, I digress...

So, my blackberry sits there all night chirping away, and flashing its little red light letting me know that someone or something has decided to leave me an email or text message gift. Have I checked it first thing? Yes. Disclaimer: It was only because I was either a)expecting a time sensitive email or b) looking for the latest election coverage. Honestly, I do not check facebook before I get to work. Wait, did I just admit that I check facebook at work? Usually, sometime between blowing drying the hair and finding a stale granola bar to eat for breakfast, I will check any emails or texts that the blackberry santa brought me during the night.

Sad? A little. Obsessive? I don't think so.

I have always wanted to be able to go on a weekend trip, heck even a day trip, and leave my phones at home. Not just in the car, turned off, but at home where I cannot be bothered with them the entire time I am away. Sadly, I have not been able to accomplish this, yet. The very thought of it makes me sweat, my stomach turn quesy and my mind race with thoughts of missed calls, important messages and not being the first one to know the latest, greatest breaking news.

Notice I said "yet." I will do it. I will conquer my fear/addiction and forego the blackberry to have some peaceful time with myself or with friends.


For now, I'll bandage my toes, keep my phone charged and dream of sugarplums (emails) dancing in my head.


Since When?

Did my hair like to be gray?

Did my back start hurting when I sat too long?

Did I start considering how late it was when I called my friends?

Did I start saying things like "those kids are just too young to be getting married?"

Was I 10 years out of high school?

Did I start worrying about my retirement account?

Do I rarely go out on Friday night because it's a work day and I'm just too tired because I've been up so long?

Do I have a "skin care regimen?"

Did I start complaining about the prices at the grocery store?

Did I start complaining about the price of gas?

Did the weather become my go to conversation starter?

Have I felt the need to admonish children (even if I don't know them) when they are misbehaving in public?

Have I driven around trying to find the closest parking spot to the door?

Do I have a specific day and time to go buy groceries?

Did all my high school friends get married and have babies?

Did I have a regular dry-cleaning schedule?

Did exercise become about health instead of vanity?

Do I have blog posts about becoming an adult and how weird it is?