Thursday, September 25, 2008

I Have a Feeling...

....that today is going to be AWESOME!



  • I was up every hour last night with the sick dog, but now I am done dog-sitting!

  • Just talked to Dad as he waits for his chemo - he missed last week's treatment due to an infected incision site, but this week he is feeling great and ready for chemo! Not loving the idea that he is having all those drugs pumped into him, but loving the idea that the drugs are working and he is hopefully getting back on schedule!



  • Twins won again last night, making tonight's game very important and exciting. And I will be there with fun friends!

  • The Office is FINALLY on tonight! Definitely will be taping and watching it after the game! Oh man, I LOVE THE OFFICE!
  • Most importantly, my best friend just sent me a text that SHE IS IN LABOR! Oh man, oh man, oh man. Even though they are hundreds of miles away, it will be SO exciting to welcome their baby into the world. And to finally find out the gender!

I know for sure that I will cry hard and laugh hard today. And it will be great!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

On Dogs.....and Gag Reflexes

Don't be confused. There is a connection. And of course, a story. Or two.

First: I have a strong gag reflex. Is strong the right word? I gag while doing dishes, brushing my teeth, and when I smell bad things.

Second: I am a "small dog person". I love my roommate's dog, Howie. Please, indulge me and admire his cuteness:


No, that is not a stuffed animal. He is a real, living, breathing dog. To prove that he is very alive, very cute, and very tough, check out this video:


video


Okay, I'll stop. For now.

On to the story.

Now and again I dog sit for my manager. She has a BIG dog and a normal size dog. Here they are:



Ginormous. GI-NOR-MOUS.

She also has two cats. I am very-much-so not a cat person. But whatev. I deal.

Last time I dog-sat, she was gone for two weeks, so that meant picking up the poo in the yard, cleaning out the litter box, etc. INSERT GAG REFLEX HERE! I did okay while I was outside cleaning the poo where I had an ample amount of fresh air, but in the small room with the litter box, I was really struggling. I kept gasping for air and gagging, gagging, gagging. I thought it might be a good idea to put my shirt up over my nose so that the smell wouldn't bother me as much. That worked for a few minutes until I didn't respond fast enough to a very strong gag and I THREW UP INSIDE MY SHIRT. I could have simply pulled the shirt down and thrown up into the litter box, but no. I simply threw up in my shirt. Try getting that shirt off without making a mess all over your face. Yeah. Ugh.

This week I am just dog-sitting for a few nights, so I don't need to worry about the litter box. Good. But then came this morning. Fynn woke me up early with her barking, and when I opened my door I was greeted with a rancid smell. I walked downstairs to find doggy-diarrhea and throw up all over the living room. I spent the next hour and a half cleaning (and gagging). I wasn't really sure what to do for the dogs, but I hoped the sickness had passed and I headed to work.

Well, the sickness returned. I was greeted with more diarrhea and throw up when I got back from work. Poor puppy. Poor me.

To review: I really love these dogs and I love to dog-sit, but I am more pleased each day to have my beloved Howie. And his little, clean poops.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

I've Got Nothin'

Nothing I have to say is quite as inspired as my sister's postings about her recent trip to Africa.

You should probably read some of her poems here and learn more about her trip here.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Ever-expanding Lists

I have an ever-expanding list of lists that are ever-expanding. It includes, but is not limited to:

  • To Do
  • Books to Read
  • Movies to See
  • People I Need to Catch Up With
  • Places To Go
  • Boy Who Aren't Interested
  • Games the Vikings Should've Won (thankfully I didn't add to this list today...)
  • House Projects

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Turning Leaves....and Turning Over New Leaves

I spent time in Brainerd last weekend and….the leaves are turning! Fall is here! I also am realizing that I need to turn over some of my own leaves.

The two biggest reflective times of the year for me have always been the New Year (for obvious reasons) and Fall (again, for pretty obvious reasons). Everything gets back “into swing” in the fall, so it always feels like a really appropriate time to reassess things as I jump into a more “scheduled” season.

Lately I have been feeling really, super unhealthy and just…..BLAH. About so much. Everything, really. Which is so not me. So I took some time at the cabin this weekend to really think about some changes that need to be made. And I came up with a list, made some action plans, and set some goals.

Here is how I want to turn over new leaves:

Eating habits: I have a TERRIBLE diet. The drive-through lady at McDonald’s KNOWS me. Ugh. I don’t ever eat fruits (allergic to them) or veggies. I never cook unless I have company, and I rarely have company. This just needs to change. I will feel so much better. GOAL: Cook one dinner a week. This way I will probably also have leftovers for another meal, so I will have at least a few healthy meals a week. (Bonus for another area: Saving money on eating out)

Sleeping habits: I don’t have a bed time. I watch TV while I go to sleep. I can’t fall asleep when I do go to bed (sometimes for hours. ANNOYING). I hit snooze for over an hour (no kidding). I am tired and lethargic the whole next day. I am now waking up multiple times a night. In other words, I need a pattern. GOAL: In bed by 10:30, asleep by 11. Step one was to move the TV to the den. Step two is to stop bringing my computer into bed with me to watch The Office. Step three is to start heading for bed at 9:30 (sounds early for a 10:30 bedtime, but I get DISTRACTED EASILY. I currently head for bed at 10:30 and usually end up lying down after 11, falling asleep after Midnight or 1). This may be the most difficult thing to change for me, but I have to try. (Bonus for another area: more energy to work out)

Exercise habits: I’ve mentioned before that I have a bum knee, so that has made working out difficult (although I should have been swimming all along…). GOAL: Exercise five days a week. I am currently exercising no days a week, but a few things will make this very attainable: I am in a tennis league on Mondays and a basketball league on Tuesdays. So that’s two times already. I also have physical therapy starting this week, so that should make the knee situation better and hopefully eliminate that excuse. (Bonus for another area: working out makes me not want to eat crappy things and undo the work I just did. And it helps me to justify my lethal cookie habit)

Money habits: My money is so tight. Almost two years ago I moved to the cities and started paying rent. Living in the cities in general is more expensive than Brainerd, and living around my friends has certainly made things more expensive. Add rent and entertainment money on top of a huge mortgage payment for the “cabin” and I am strapped. I’ve already made some changes this year with putting a little money away each month, but that doesn’t keep up with general house repairs, boat repairs, summer fun, etc. This is the one area where I haven’t set goals and I don’t really know what to do. I already don’t spend extravagantly, but I know I can make some up in the eating out area. I don’t buy many new clothes and I don’t get everything I want at Target. But the good news is that my church is offering the Financial Peace University this fall. The announcement was made on Sunday (after I had already made this list), so it was an easy decision for me to sign up and see what I can take away. I’ll keep you up to date. Interestingly enough I was also contacted on Monday (TOTALLY out of the blue) about possibly renting my cabin through the winter to a family needing to relocate to Brainerd. Praying about that possibility.

Last, but really most important: Devotional habits: I am so sporadic with my devotions. I know that I need to be in the Word each day but it doesn’t happen. GOAL: Devotions each day (preferably in the morning). I’m not a morning person (UNDERSTATEMENT OF THE CENTURY), so that will be a stretch, but if I save it for the end of the day, it doesn’t happen. Again, I have some things in place that will help this along: I am starting a Precepts Bible Study with women at my church. From everything I’ve heard about it, the study is intense and time consuming, so you have to really do your homework. That will force me to put my time in. Also, the study is on Numbers, so it will force me to the OT, a place where I don’t spend much time. My small group at church is memorizing Galatians 5, so I will also have a place in the NT to spend some time.

So there it is. It’s a lot to change and I know that not all of it will “take” right away. I am a perfectionist and if I don’t live up to my standard of what “perfection” is for that day (usually it means getting the to-do list done) then I can be pretty hard on myself. Ultimately I know that my joy in getting a list done is not God’s joy. I need to remember to simply accept each day for what it is and be satisfied in Him. "God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him" (not “when HB completes her list of things to do”). I hope I don’t become too legalistic with this list, but rather that it cultivates more discipline and a more healthy lifestyle. If you have thoughts and input, I am interested and open to ideas!

Happy Fall! I love the turning leaves.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

I feel....lighter

After basketball games my team goes out for apps and drinks. Each time I get teased relentlessly about what my team has dubbed my “Mom wallet”. My wallet is…..well…..full. It is well organized, but it has a lot in it. I always just brush off their comments and embrace my Mom-ness (trust me when I say this is not the only area where I display Mom-like characteristics…) but lately I have just felt very cluttered. And not just with my wallet. I’m kinda obsessed with organization, yet I feel like I need to do a major purging of my dressers, closets, car, storage unit, purse, shelves, etc, etc, etc. So I decided to start with the Mom wallet.

I found out that, truly, my wallet was out of control. 64 cards. I HAD 64 CARDS PEOPLE! Credit cards, reward cards, membership cards, ID cards, etc. Out of control. I did some downsizing FER SHER. Cancelled some credit cards, tossed some useless cards, and moved everything out of my wallet besides cash, one credit card, driver’s license, and an insurance card.

And I somehow feel lighter. I got a sleek new clutch-thing to put those essentials in and I will keep my other cards in a coin purse. I feel so organized and, yes, lighter.

I saw something on Oprah once about the book Does This Clutter Make My Butt Look Fat? The premise is that the way you live affects all of your habits, including eating, exercising, etc. In general, people who take care of their home and possessions also take care of themselves. I can see the logic of it. I haven’t read the book, but it was an interesting show and I might page through the book sometime.

All I know is that I've only just cleaned out my wallet and I already feel lighter. Maybe tomorrow I’ll put down the chips and actually get to the gym.

Baby steps….

Saturday, September 6, 2008

One Half Hour

That's the exact amount of time I have been out of bed today.

I either got food poisoning or the flu. Either way, I AM SO SICK! Not fun.

And now it is back to bed. I'm bummed I was sick on a Saturday, but I'm just glad this wasn't Monday when I am headed to Green Bay for the Vikes/Pack game (have I mentioned that I am excited about that?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!).

Here's to hoping it was a 24-hour bug.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Seriously?!

Q: Have you ever been non-stop busy for four straight days and been very productive only to see your to-do list get longer and longer?
A: Yes. Very much so. Uh-huh.

I have just had an incredibly busy week. My work computer crashed, so I am recreating every report known to man, and I am still catching up on other things from being gone on vacation. I haven’t done any socializing at all, and work has just seemed to dominate my whole week. Even though it was a short week, I was SO looking forward to Friday. But then it came. And things seemed like they were unraveling.

It started with me waking up late (I was supposed to leave the house at 6:30 and I woke up at 6:37) and showing up late for a very important appointment. I was also unshowered. There was also no food or coffee in my belly. This, dear friends, let me tell you, is a person you do NOT want to encounter at the end of a long week. But alas, things went all right and I was off to pick up the lunch I ordered for another clinic.

As I went to get out of my car, I grabbed the door handle and it fell out. I tried every way I could, and there was no way to reattach it and get out of the driver’s door. All I could think was “Seriously?!” How does that happen?! I had a very busy few hours coming up with many appointments, so that meant getting in and out of my car many, many times. And it’s not like I have a car where I can just slide over to the passenger side and get out. Oh, no. I have an SUV. So that means literally taking all six feet of my body (in a suit) and climbing over the console to get out of the passenger side. Quite the scene.

It wasn’t until I had performed this act four times (and frantically called my service station to get a new handle before the weekend set in) that I realized there was nothing wrong with the handle from the outside of the car, so really all I need to do is roll down my window and open the door from the outside. Again, all I could think was “Seriously?!” I must have really been out of it and frazzled to not think of that. How stupid.

I ended up getting to the service station (they’ll fix it next week) and I got most of my appointments and errands done. Then it was back home for some Chinese delivery and watching movies while I do more work. I’m hoping to get most of my work done tonight so I can really enjoy my long weekend. I won’t be going back to work until next Wednesday, seeing as I’ll be going to Green Bay for the VIKES/PACK game on Monday night. I CANNOT WAIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I mean, really. I’m still chuckling that I didn’t figure out to roll down my window. Seriously! I wish you could have seen it.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Say

John Mayer's Say has been on repeat on my ipod lately:


Take all of your wasted honor.
Every little past frustration.
Take all of your so called problems,
Better put 'em in quotations.

Say what you need to say (x8)

Walking like a one man army,
Fighting with the shadows in your head.
Living in the same old moment
Knowing you'd be better off instead

If you could only....Say what you need to say (x8)

Have no fear for giving in.
Have no fear for giving over.
You better know that in the end
It's better to say too much, than never to say what you need to say again.

Even if your hands are shaking,
And your faith is broken.
Even as your eyes are closing,
Do it with a heart wide open.

Say what you need to say

Generally I'm a pretty chatty person. I'll tell stories, talk about stuff going on in people's lives, etc. But there are definitely situations where I guard what I say to an extreme. I've always thought that it's better to not say too much in certain situations with friends, boys, at work, or with family. When I don't "say what I need to say", I'm often left, like the song says, living in the same old moment, knowing I'd be better off if I just said what I need to say! I have often felt like a "one many army" when I try to process and digest things on my own. I don't want to burden people, I don't want to offend people, and sometimes I feel like I don't have anyone to tell anyway, so I just keep it to myself and unload in my prayers. Now I'm stuck, years later, wondering what would be different if I would have said certain things at a meeting, or to a friend, or to a boy. And it's not that I'm thinking of new things now that I would have said back then - it's that I had things to say back then and I just kept them to myself.
I'm not saying that I need to go around and say every little thought that comes to mind, but I do think I should have more courage to say some things that I really do feel. Not just awkward things, or hard things, but good things too. I need to verbalize the good I see in people and be more ready with compliments. I'm thinking those things anyway, I just don't say them that much.
And in the end, if I could go back and say some of the things I wish I would have, I doubt much would have changed about the situations. But I might not still be thinking about them, so it would free up some space in my head. And make me feel a tiny bit more courageous. And add to my life experiences, I suppose. After all, I've been avoiding some conversations with friends, family, boys, and colleagues that most people my age have had many, many times by now.
So I think I'll take John's advice:


Even if your hands are shaking,
And your faith is broken.
Even as your eyes are closing,
Do it with a heart wide open.

Say what you need to say

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Brutal

You might recall how I'm very excited about fall.

There's just one small detail I forgot about.

ALLERGIES!

I seriously wanted to scratch my face off all weekend. All I had at the cabin to take was Benadryl, so I spent the weekend in a tired haze. I also could barley breath thanks to the congestion, and my eyes, nose, throat (FACE IN GENERAL) never. stopped. itching!

I'm doing a little better now, thanks to rain, cooler weather, and better meds. I just forgot how brutal my allergies can be, and how being up north on a dry, windy weekend magnifies it all. Oh well. Still very excited about fall, especially with the gorgeous temps and FOOTBALL right around the corner!!!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

State Fair Review

Mind you, my sisters and I only go to the Fair for 2-3 hours. Certainly you could spend 11 days at the Fair and still not see everything, but we simply don't have that kind of stamina or gumption. There's only so much walking, sweating and strange smells I can tolerate. So we spend a few hours cramming food down our throats and seeing our few standard favorite things. This year we were down one sister, but we still made the most of it.

What I Ate:
  • Cheese Curds
  • Pinacolada Smoothie
  • Soft Pretzel
  • Deep Fried Candy Bar
  • Lemonade
  • Sweet Martha's Cookies
  • Unlimited Milk

We have our list of every-year-items (mine are above). We also like to add one food item each year, and this year I was going to add chocolate covered bacon. By the time we got to the booth, I was too sick to eat it. Maybe next year. Problem is that I will probably have to take something off the list of regulars to make room for new food. Not sure I'm willing to do that. Or we could stay at the Fair longer to work up an appetite, but I'm not too willing to do that either.

Things I saw:

  • Bethel University Booth (free water bottle)
  • 4H Building (Didn't really like how things were organized this year. At least from the part I walked through, I couldn't find a section of just quilts - the quilts were scattered around different displays in the building. I just wanted them all in one place)
  • Butter-heads
  • Big Pig (1200 lbs. Yuck)
  • Miracle of Birth (or, as I call it, the Birthy Booth. A friend of mine was working there, so it was fun to see her and the cute little lambs born 2 hours before that she was taking care of)
  • Grand Stand vendors

Again, these are our regulars. This year our new booth to visit was KFAN and it was definitely the HIGHLIGHT! First of all, the people watching was world class. The people watching at the Fair is always amazing, but I have never seen such a collection of people in one place - especially the ones who would approach the microphone to talk on the radio! Definitely some heavy drinking going on at the Fair.

The best part of KFAN was that my sister nominated me to sing on the radio. They were doing a karaoke contest for Micheal Jackson's 50th birthday (I know, can you believe he's 50?!). So after some coaxing, I sang The Way You Make Me Feel. My sister had to buy me Sweet Martha's as a bribe, but it made for a good State Fair memory, so I'm glad I did it. Pretty sure I sounded TERRIBLE since I can hardly sing to start with and the song was way too high for this alto. But oh well. It's a story to tell.

OH YEAH! I almost forgot - I also won The State Fair Game, so my sister also had to purchase my pretzel. All in all, I came out way ahead on the evening and had an enjoyable time.