Saturday, September 25, 2010

10 things that make me happy today, again.

10. Friday night softball games.  We have joined a league and play double headers every Friday.  This past Friday several people got a little injured, including Matt who was not back to full capacity after running to fast to first last week and his quad was still sore.  My leg hurt from running too, plus after a great hit I managed to throw the bat back on my ankle, immediately swelling the outside bone of my ankle.  Don't worry, it numbed up pretty quickly and after some icing once we got home and a good night's rest we were feeling better.  The weather last night was gorgeous, it felt so much like the beginning of Fall, I loved it!  Plus the exercise is always welcome.

9.  Goat cheese.  I have a new obsession with it and it is the ONLY food item I have a very difficult time saying 'no' to.  I can dismiss cupcakes, candy, chocolate, caffine, pretty much everything you could think of, but if you put some goat cheese and crackers in front of me, look out.  So, I enjoy it today, however I have asked Matt to keep the rest of it away from me until he finishes it and I don't think we will be buying anymore any time soon.

8.  Annie, and other great nostalgic movies.  I happened to watch it today while I messed with some old necklaces and beads in hopes of trying to make better and more interesting ones that I would want to wear today.  We had our windows open because the weather was so nice, which meant I kept my singing 'how about champion? champion.. you're anything but..' to a much lower volume than I would have liked.

7.  Toast.  My favorite snack right now is a piece of our farm to market 100% whole wheat bread, toasted with some butter on it.  I love it, very plain, very delicious and makes Matt laugh every time he hears me enjoying a piece (because his palette is much more demanding than mine :)

6. Being so close to a grocery store.  We could walk to our nearest grocery store and even though that particular one is not my favorite, it is very convenient and I do forget some essentials from time to time, so I appreciate the comfort of being able to run back to the store if we need to.  As much as I would love to live in the country and have more space, I would definitely have to up my list writing and following of the list skills.

5. Our dogs, I have to say.. they are just so fun to have around.  They continue to bring lots of energy full of love and comfort. Even when I am trying to work, or we want to relax on the couch and they happen to come by and lick our face, two seconds later they bring us their ball and are ready to play.

4.  Being nice but honest.  I have not enjoyed the time I have spent working with a guy who happens to be quitting and his last day is this Friday, which I am looking forward to.  I have to remind myself that I can still be a nice, good person but that it's not always right to sit back and be quiet when something is going on that you don't think is right. 

3.  Taking pictures, of our family, friends, and landscape. love it.

2. Fresh, cool air.
1.  Family, of course.  I could list ten reasons for this one but I will just say we have spent some wonderful time with both of our families the past few days and it has been great.  We are 'on call' and anticipating a call from either my sister or my brother-in-law letting us know they are heading to the hospital to give birth to their second son!  We are so excited to welcome the wonderful new addition to our family!

Monday, September 20, 2010

The weekend...

The past week was very busy with work, we ended the week with our softball double header games.  Matt pitched nicely and we won the first game.  Matt also ran to first very quickly and hurt his quad muscle so he chose and with some light encouragement from his wife, to sit out the second game.  22 sure feels different than 32, we are learned that over the weekend.  Our good friends Jamee and Dale drove the four hours to our house to help us celebrate Matt's birthday (they have done this the past few years and a little tradition we always look forward to).  We went to the renaissance festival on Saturday and even though towards the end of our visit we got rained on, it was really fun.  We had time to come home, relax throughout the rest of the thunderstorm and just when the clouds started to get real bright, we drove to our favorite pizza place and had a nice dinner.  Lots of good conversations, laughs, good food, and a really great weekend. I am so very grateful for good, genuine friendships and we appreciate any time we get to spend with our good friends.  Thanks again Dale and Jamee for the visit! 

Sunday I spent the afternoon at my mom's house celebrating motherhood with a nice gathering of women.  We told stories about having a mom, those of who have children about being a mom, and it was a sweet get together to help welcome my sister's second baby who will be here any day now (her due date is Oct. 7th)!!

My mom, sister and I sending lots of love and support for the Duh family and their new baby!  This was a very sweet celebration that anyone can have for their own sister or friend.  To eat yummy food, relax and share funny and sweet stories about the amazing adventure it is to become a parent.  love love love.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Home again home again jiggity jiggg...

My brain is wired to remember quotes, phrases, scenes from movies/tv shows and so on.  I have had issues with Math and Science however I remember driving directions by sights and feelings, I can remember a phone number or address after hearing it once.  So you can imagine what it must be like for my neurons and however the heck all that works.
Growing up we read lots of books and listened to lots of songs, all that remain dear to my heart.  Some of which I have remembered two or three specific phrases more than others and morphed them into one to suit my short term memory.  We had great vacations growing up as well, and I remember no matter what the vacation was I was always excited to be back home.  Home.  A place I long to be, somewhere that has transformed over my years and now is more of a who than a what, as far as the people in my life that make me feel home, we just so happen to be blessed actually have a where too.
So tonight after a long 48 hours away from, I get to return to my Home.  Of course I am thrilled to see my husband and he happened to have a delicious dinner ready to consume the second I walked through the door.  But to be greeted by my dogs makes me feel home too.  Their sweetness surrounds me and tails wagging, jumping bodies of excitement, I can tell that they missed me by their extra energy and they are happy to have both of us home.  All the dog hair, muddy feet, and crazy energy is worth it because they are a part of our family, a part of my home.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Work conference....

So Monday I started leading my 'Choices' group for some teenagers our organization has worked with in one form or another over the past few months.  We wanted to bring a few of them together to give them a chance to connect with other kids that may have gone through similar things.  There was weeks of prep time, finding good readings, activities, and getting everything 'approved' by my supervisor, etc. and on the way to group I called Matt (feeling a little nervous I guess) and said 'what if only two kids show up?' (instead of the 7 we had signed up for the course).  Matt instantly said 'well, two is a group, so you'll be fine'.  Very sweet, very supportive and always appreciated.  I agreed with Matt and continued on to lead the class.  I had the lovely help of another co-worker and a good friend and guess what?  All 7 kids showed up!  We will have five more meetings on the next five Mondays.  So very happy the first meeting went well and even though it was tiring, I think it will be a valuable course for the kiddos and for us.
Next day Tuesday was busy with meetings all day and by 5:30 myself and four other co-workers were all on the road headed to a small town a few hours away for a work conference.  I have been to conferences like this before but I will say the information presented here was very valuable and I am glad I came.  We of course were given two nights at a hotel and $30 per person per day with food (which we never even used that full amount due to other food being available through the conference). 
The hotel was... pretty gross.  Now I am aware that I am already a weirdo when it comes to hotels (or am I completely normal and everyone else is weird about it?)  We all drove up in a company car and I was the only one that sat with a pillow in their laps and that is where the questions started.  Why did you bring your own pillow?  And then of course I mentioned that the second I enter a hotel room I throw the comforter on the floor, then we talk about Dateline episodes and black lights... then I even told them that I put towels down across the bathroom floor and do my very best not to touch the tile barefoot.  This is when my freak flag flew and the car grew silent.  "Do you have house slippers too?"  Puzzled I said 'no, I just do that at hotels, I am fine at home with our germs...'  This conversation made my co-worker (the only other woman that came on this trip) and she said 'do they not wash everything? i just assume they wash everything... maybe i am too trusting'.  And yes I think, maybe you are.  Later in the day she said one of her hotel pillows fell on the floor and she did not pick it up because of me and our germ conversation.  I told her that was a good idea and I only felt bad about breaking her trust of hotel cleanliness for a second. 
Here's the rundown: the lobby is large filled with games mostly broken ones that just give you false hope of playing air hockey or double shot only to find out they are permanently broken, or by the time you ask to play ping pong the front desk lady says 'it's too late, come back at 8 a.m.' lame.  There was definite mold in my bathroom, a tile in the lobby had fallen down and was spread out along the carpet dew to mildew.  Something started smoking in the lobby and they put out a huge fan that just blew thick smokeness back and forth.   The pool looked stale and lame, but did I mention there was a water slide?  Tonight we decided to spend some time at the pool, hot tub and enjoy the slide.  I found a kid's football underneath my bed, because of course I look under the bed, that's normal right?  The hot tub was hot and the slide was windy and freakin fast, so hilarious and ended up being really fun.
Lastly there's this; myself, the other woman and two guys we were with played lots of pool as in billards.  Now I am not great, but if I take my time I can make some pretty good shots from time to time.  One of the guys we were with was getting kind of heated that I kept doing so well, and so much better than him.  We beat his team several times either by his partner scratching the 8 ball or I hit the last few in and won for realsy.  Either way he was just dumbfounded that one let alone two 'girls' beat him.  I find it hilarious and still kind of odd (even though I have been familiar with this behavior for my entire life) that he felt even more competitive about wanting to win because he was playing against women.  Personally I think it's a sign of insecurity and just a lame stereotype that 'you got beat by a girl' is still a big deal for some guys.  Ever since I was little I have been able to play sports naturally.  I remember racing on the soccer fields in elementary school and myself and one other girl could beat the other boys and it was a great achievement for us and a horrible defeat for them, much worse than losing to a boy.  So after we won that last game he said 'let's go play football so we can actually beat them at something'.  We obviously did not play football, but we did that video golf game, which I find to be kind of lame and you don't need much skill to do.  That said, I 'drove' my ball further than this guys several times and he again felt defeated.  Should I have let him win to make him feel better about the situation?  Because I don't want any guy I play to ease up on me when we play games.  Clearly there are physical things this guy and lots of guys could beat me at, but that doesn't belittle the fact that I am a good athlete and can legitimately kick his butt and other guys' butts at certain games.  I just think it would be nice if he could be a good sport about it and not get down about it, or blame it on luck or something else. 
Another thing I have always appreciated about Matt.  He has never once felt threatened by my intelligence, talents or abilities (obviously or we would not be married) but he is very supportive of pretty much anything I do but definitely encouraged me to 'kick their butts' at whatever games we play. 
At the end of the trip we all had a good time and today we had the honor of receiving a presentation by four kids who have been through or are still in the foster care system.  They shared their traumas and their triumphs and the fact that they are all doing so very well today.  It was inspiring and I think they need more of that at these social work conferences.  We know what we do isn't going to save every kid and there may always be horrible awful happenings that we won't have the chance to prevent or help, but what makes the work important is those kids that we do get to come in contact with and hopefully help  "We need you to believe in us..." the 16 year old bright eyed girl who helped with the presentation.

Turns out this post is much more of a novel, my apologies, unless you've stopped reading and you didn't make it this far, then nevermind. :)
I will be home tomorrow, with my husband, and our dogs, surrounded with our own germs.... can't wait.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Isn't our interview tomorrow and not today?

Have you ever showed up to something early?  Like... days early?  It's pretty easy to forget what day of the week it is, right?  But have you ever gone to a meeting (interview, party, etc.) today that was actually scheduled for not another time, but another day?!?  I am ending my night with an episode from season 3 of The Office, where Micheal shows up a day early to an interview for a promotion and I find it to be HILarious.

Perhaps it's because I too, did something equally as embarrassing in middle school.  One Saturday my mom drove me to my friend's house and we stood on the front porch as I rang the door bell, with my sleep over bag in hand my friend answered the door, greeted us but quickly became puzzled as to why we were there.  I thought we were invited to a sleepover?  My friend's mom joined us at the front door and her face turned into a mix of shock and irritation.  Apparently, we were invited to a sleep over but it was not happening until NEXT Saturday, also the sleep over just happened to be a SURPRISE birthday party for my friend that both my mom and I overlooked.  I am sure years later they found that to be as HILarious as my mom and I soon would.

So on to what's happenin now... my husband and I spent a good hour trying to install a ceiling fan in our guest room.  The fan we put up in our bedroom took about twenty minutes from opening the box to flipping the switch.  This guest bedroom fan was another story.  We opened the box a week ago and had our first attempt at it then.  One more try, and then tonight we were determined to finish the damn thing, sorry but there was a hint of irritation throughout the project where we kept thinking 'why is this taking so much longer than the other fan!?' 

My husband powered through the irritation and I did all I could to be the best assistant ever because let's face it, I do not want to be the captain of an electrical home project, I will however be happy to hold screwdrivers, mag lights, twist ties, and wire cutters.  So Matt did all of the brain power on this project and I was stationed underneath the fan for most of an hour holding it up while he connected the wires.  I also ran up and down the stairs about eight times to figure out our funky system.  One time the fan worked, but the light did not. Another time the closet light worked but the ceiling fan light did not.  Don't worry, we eventually figured it alllllll out. After the hour or so of holding what I am going to guess is forty pounds over my head (more realistically twelve pounds) I do not believe I will be able to lift my arms above my head tomorrow, maybe not even past my belly button.  After a week of darkness in the guest room, not only is it breezy and nice with the fan flowing exactly how it was intended to, but the four bright bulbs are shining like the sun.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

This weather!!

Good morning!  I am thrilled to wake up to yet another beautiful, cool day that feels an awful lot like the start of Fall.  Now, I wouldn't call myself a morning person, but once I am up, I'm fine (it's the actual getting out of bed thing that is a pain, especially if it happens to be cold and or dark outside).  My husband on the other hand needs a little bit more time to adjust to being awake, and that is just fine.  But I will say the extra cool breeze in the air has made mornings even more enjoyable around our house, nights for that matter too.  Last night we went on a walk and I actually wore work out pants (instead of shorts), and then we came home and I used a blanket on the couch, I know that all sounds really simple, and it is... but it felt so cozy, and I love it!

We are off to spend some more time outside.. I just hope this weather sticks around for a while and doesn't all of a sudden get freezing out, please, mother nature... can we make that happen...  thanks.