Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Told You So

Disclaimer: In order to write this post, I have to make a confession. I watch The Bachelor. Duh Duh Duh. You are right, I have much better things to do with my time, BUT somehow it is always streaming on my computer on Tuesday nights as I get caught up with stuff. I'm not proud.

But I just have to say that tonight (well, it was last night's show that I saw tonight) the girls had to write a song to Jason (The Bachelor, for those of you who are doing better things with your time) and he would pick the best song. The winner would get the only one-on-one date with him.


Molly, I would have chosen you too.

Birds of a feather, I tell ya.

And people say that loving fast food will only get you FAT. Well, Molly is NOT fat AND she also got a date with a CUTIE.

So, take that, South Beach Diet. I've never seen ANYONE get a date because they loved you so much.

Zest For Life

My roommate and I were talking about our various sleeping problems the other night and she made a comment that I thought was interesting.

She was talking about what she called “zest for life”.

Her thought was something along the lines of how the very thing that makes us excited about filling our days with activities and people and busy-stuff (our zest for life) is also the very thing that can disrupt our sleep patterns and thus make some of those activities less enjoyable (or less possible to do at all) thanks to the fatigue and lethargy caused by said disrupted sleep patterns.

Interesting, is all.

I know that the reason I am still up tonight (and will be for at least a few more hours) is because my basketball league game started after 10pm. Annoying. I should be getting in bed at 10pm, right? So this is a bad-sleep-instance that can't really be attributed to anything but me trying to participate in something with a crazy schedule. No blaming this on any sleep disorder. But I'll probably pay for it tomorrow.

And I do think I have a "zest for life". I really like it. Life, that is. And I try to have fun at everything I have to do and also everything I want to do. Not that I ALWAYS end up having fun, but I at least try to more often than not.

And let me tell you, I run into people every day who do NOT have a zest for life. Poor people. I know that life is hard, and theirs probably is, and that is why they are not exhibiting their zest (because it is IN THERE SOMEWHERE, people, I promise), so I usually just say a prayer for them and try to smile bigger. Unless they have in turn tried to ruin my day as well. Then the smile probably comes out looking a bit more mangy, and I probably huff and puff about it in my car (I'm working on it, OKAY). But still. I'm glad that most of the people that matter to me in my life are zesty. So if I call you that, now we are on the same page.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Weekend Recap

I had the nicest weekend. I had a rushed week, and I think I'll have another rushed week coming up as I get ready for Hawaii, so I'm thankful for such a nice weekend. Here are the highlights (these highlights also serve as a list of accomplishments. Accomplishments for me at least, mundane as they may be...):

  • I limited myself to one social activity (besides church). I turned down a "girls night" party on Friday and spent a good evening by myself - worked out, cooked, watched a dumb RedBox movie, finished a book, and went to bed early. Loved every minute.

  • Saturday was my social activity (after sleeping in, of course) - a Pampered Chef party. I wanted EVERYTHING and bought NOTHING. I exercised every tiny bit of WILL POWER I've ever thought I had.

  • Had more nice time by myself - working out, cooking again, reading more, watching TV and to bed early again.

  • Great Sunday morning at church, successful shopping afterwards for Hawaii, a great workout (finally ran four miles - I'm woefully behind in my training for my half-marathon), more cooking, got a ton of work done, and now I am watching a cheesy Hallmark movie. I LOVE cheesy Hallmark movies! A great day.

  • Best discovery of the weekend (technically my roommate discovered this last week, but I tried it for myself tonight): when you sautee cabbage in just a little bit of oil.....this will sound crazy, but......it actually tastes like FRENCH FRIES. You have to close your eyes and imagine just a tiny bit, BUT it tastes really good! And my roommate says the oil isn't all that bad (and there isn't much of it anyway). I also tossed in some zucchini and yellow squash and it was really tasty. I sort of ruined the Gingered Chicken recipe, but the veggies were a success.

When I write it out like this, it sounds a bit boring, but it was absolutely wonderful to me. Like I said, I needed the change of pace in order to keep my sanity. Bliss.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Really Nice Suits

This is the reason I don't buy them:

I have to wear suits for work everyday, but when you are in and out of your car all day long in the slush of Minnesota, you can ruin a suit very quickly. So I don't invest a lot in them. Or shoes either (shoes that I wear to work, at least).

There's probably at least eight weeks of slush left, and this pair of suit pants is already being held together at the seam with a pin, and those salt stains are permanent (I've already washed them twice in the last week). I might need one more pair of pants to ruin this winter.

I think I'll be shopping on Saturday - for a new pair of pants, yes, but also for a few items I need for my TRIP TO HAWAII. Take that, Minnesota Winter.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The Power of Napping

I seriously cannot remember the last time I took a nap.

Maybe that's why I forgot about the Power of Napping.

I used to take naps a lot in college. I had a roommate who was like the master of naps, so I learned quickly from her.

But I really don't do naps anymore. Ever. Not because I'm not tired during the day ever, but because I'm usually afraid that I won't be able to fall asleep at night (more so than I already can't) if I do take a nap.

And then there's the whole "it takes me more than an hour to fall asleep anyway, so laying down for an hour nap would be pointless" thing.

So as I felt my body going full speed toward total sickness today, I decided that I did indeed need a nap. My roommate has been home sick for two days, and I was afraid I was catching it.

My first hint of sickness was last night at basketball, but I couldn't decide if I was just over-reacting to being extremely out of shape and having a game that started at 10pm, or if I was actually sick. I felt really fine this morning, but from noon-three it was bad-news-downhill-fast.

I went to bed the moment I got home from work and I only had an hour until I needed to leave for my financial class. I said a very heartfelt prayer that not only would I be able to fall asleep in that amount of time, but that it would be healing for me to have that sleep.


I am SO thankful and pleased right now! I have felt really great the rest of the night, and I just KNOW that I was getting sick. Not to say that I won't end up getting sick (I really hope not...), but I just am reveling in the power of naps at the moment.

Naps are great.

As long as I can fall asleep tonight....

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Change of Plans

I am a planner. A compulsive list maker (understatement of the century).

But nothing went as planned last week.

And reflecting on it now, I see how great that was.

One area that I have grown in over the last few years is holding onto my own plans more loosely. I have learned that doing so will help me to feed my own soul and also make time for others. I really want my life to be marked more and more by how I help and serve others, rather than how much of my to-do list got done.

So this week was a good test of how far I have come in holding tightly to my plans. Last Sunday I had envisioned a week with some free time to focus on being more in shape and starting a training plan for my half-marathon. I thought of a few friends who I would like to catch up with now that the Holidays have passed. But then work happened and none of that took place. I was feeling frantic and frazzled. I knew that I needed to feed my own soul, so I skipped my financial class on Wednesday evening. It was so wonderful to have an hour to take a breath and read a devotional (even though the rest of the evening went downhill). The old Hannah would have still gone to the class out of (irrational) guilt and obligation, and come away from it even more stressed and snippy. I'm thankful for the grace I felt to make that adjustment.

As the week went on, I was moving every single errand and to-do item to the weekend. I was thankful that I had a weekend coming up with no plans at all so that I could be very productive and accomplish everything I had wanted to do during the week that work had now made impossible to accomplish. But then a friend who is going through a break-up called on Saturday and was wondering if I wanted to go to a church service and grab a bite to eat with her. Even though I haven't been through a break-up, I want to be there for her, and I imagine Saturday nights could be a difficult time in the early stages of a break-up. So instead of getting my list finished while watching a movie with the dogs, I met up with her and I was convicted at church and encouraged by our conversation. I hope in some way I was also helpful to her during our time, because it was certainly helpful to me.

So now I have had time to reflect on my week and look forward to the coming week. I have a lot planned for this week - but who knows how it will actually go. I'm hoping to be even more flexible this week if unforeseen things pop up. I have certainly come a long way in "going with the flow", but I also know that I could have had a better attitude at times last week. Turns out I'm pretty selfish with my time and every once in awhile (or all the time) I need a change of plans to remind me of that.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Let Me Recap

A lot has happened since yesterday after work. Here's the run-down.

5:45pm: Realize it's 5:45 and it is okay to stop working. For now.

5:47pm: Change into work out clothes and drive to the gym.

5:50pm: Look at the gym and decide you need to get back to work. Drive home. (So much for resolutions)

5:54pm: Eat. Something fast. Something easy. (So much for resolutions)

6:15pm: Drive over to dog-sit.

6:28pm-9:58pm: Create new call panel, learn new accounts, organize work for the next two days, complete expense reports, email new teammates an obnoxious number of times. Receive calls from both sisters - unwillingly tell them you need to talk some other time. Dream of Hawaii intermittently.

9:59pm: Head to bed and READ. Ahhh.

10:47pm: Decided to shut off light.

11:51pm: Still awake. Become annoyed.

12:33am: Still awake. Become mad.

2:56am: Awake to one of the dogs having GONE TO THE BATHROOM ON THE BED. Dog is now in process of throwing up on bed (not messy stuff, just bubbly. Gross.)

2:58am: Strip bed and head down to the laundry room. Put sheets in laundry (blanket will wait since washer is too small).

3:01am: Head upstairs to sleep in boss's bed (that's who I dog-sit for). Feel a little weird.

3:25am: Still awake. Where did that sick dog go, anyway? What is wrong with it?

3:28am: Find sick dog. Make sure it will live for three more hours. Back to bed.

4:18am: Sick dog wakes you up while jumping back into bed. Pray to fall asleep fast. Also pray sick dog doesn't ruin boss's bed as well.

5:47am: Give up on sleep. Didn't really get any, anyway. Check on sick dog, seems fine.

5:49am: Find clogged sink in laundry room (the one where the water from the washing machine goes). Say a quick and earnest thank you prayer that it didn't spill over and flood the basement. Find drain and unclog. Change out sheets for the blanket.

5:54am: Put dogs out. Wake up every neighbor with their barking.

6:00am-6:36am: Get ready to go.

6:37am: Write this post.

6:45am: Head to work. Dream of Hawaii.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Big Loser

A new Biggest Loser started tonight on NBC.

A new Biggest Loser started yesterday with my family.

Now I'm definitely not the heaviest person you have ever seen, but I have put on some weight this last year - more so than years before. I have been wanting to get back into shape, and I talked my family into doing the same.

The five of us are all putting in $50. We did a weigh-in at the beginning of this week. Whoever loses the largest percentage of body weight by May 17 is the winner. Winner take all - $250!

I'm excited. I want to lose the weight, and I could absolutely use the money!

I was actually a little disappointed when I did my weigh-in. For the way I look and feel, and with how my clothes (don't) fit, I was hoping that the number was going to be a little higher. Regardless, it is the most I have ever weighed. 40 pounds more than when I was in pageants (wow). 20 or 25 pounds more than when I graduated from college.

I'm lucky to be tall - I can easily hide the weight I gain. And it's not like I want to get back into pageant shape - that weight is not maintainable. But I would like to lose 15 pounds. I know I would have more energy and feel better in general.

I'm training for a half-marathon, so I should be able to stay motivated to work out. And as I lose weight, it will be easier to work out (ever tried to run while you carry an extra 20 pounds? Yeah, it's not the easiest thing ever). I also want to be more competitive in my triathlons this year, and one way to do that is to be faster on the bike by weighing less.

The hardest part for me is going to be the diet - FER SHER. We all know that I am OBSESSED with fast, easy, yummy, bad-for-me food. So I'm trying to learn a new way to enjoy healthier food. I've been picking brains and scouring the internet, so I hope to find some things to eat that I will enjoy, and that will help me be the Big Loser in my family (as if I wasn't already)!

New Year, New Job

I got a new job.

Well, not technically, but I might as well have.

You see, just like a lot of other industries, my industry has been experiencing massive cut backs. And I mean massive. A friend of mine who is in the industry with a different company just lost her job - her company cut more than 25 of their 40 positions in MN. Massive.

A few weeks ago we got a voicemail that there were going to be some "announcements" after the new year. I was a tiny bit worried that it meant people were going to lose jobs.

But no one lost their job. Awesome. I'm thankful to be with a company that really does it's best to look out for it's employees, even with current industry trends.

The "announcements" were made yesterday morning. In order to keep everyone with the company, we were given new territories, new accounts, new counterparts, etc. Basically an entirely new business. I stayed with the same manager (thankfully) and I am excited about the changes - and to have a job - but along with the new business comes SO. MUCH. WORK.

I haven't put in a 12-hour day for a long time, but I did it yesterday. And I will today, too. And possibly tomorrow. I already think I'll have to skip my financial class tomorrow night, but I can't feel too bad about it because I haven't missed a class yet, and getting my new business up and running is time sensitive (and effects my bonus). I can definitely use those hours tomorrow night to polish up some reports.

My week that originally didn't look too busy (other than dog sitting again) became suddenly overwhelming as of yesterday morning. I know it will all get done and I'm increasingly thankful to have no plans this coming weekend. I know I will need a nice break.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

New Year's Intentions

I'm terrible at keeping resolutions, so this year I'm making a list of intentions. There are many areas of my life where I want to see growth, so even though I'm not great at keeping resolutions, I wanted to document some things to accomplish this year.

Since there are 52 weeks in the year, I decided to list 52 intentions. It doesn't work out that I will accomplish one thing a week since some of these are daily tasks and some of them are one-time events, but 52 was a good number to work with.

Some things on the list are simple, some are difficult. Some are things I do already, some are things I've never tried.

I will check up on my progress with this list halfway through the year (on my birthday) and at the end of the year.
  1. Read through the Bible
  2. Play piano once a week
  3. Stay caught up with my Bible study
  4. Remember to take my vitamins everyday
  5. Read 12 novels
  6. Read 12 non-fiction books
  7. Run a half-marathon
  8. Run an Olympic triathlon
  9. Beat my best time in sprint triathlon
  10. Get out of debt (other than house)
  11. Save three months of emergency money
  12. Drink 4-8 glasses of water a day
  13. Cook once a week
  14. Lose weight (10-15 lbs by May 17)
  15. Win a tennis match
  16. Take one picture everyday (possibly scrapbook them)
  17. Blog at least once a week
  18. Go on a road trip
  19. Host a party
  20. Drink less than two pops a week
  21. Develop core values sheet
  22. Finish memorizing Romans 5
  23. Refresh memorization of Ephesians 6
  24. Refresh memorization of 2 Timothy 2
  25. Memorize Romans 12
  26. Memorize Luke 2
  27. Learn to wakeboard
  28. Organize photos
  29. Clean out basement
  30. Save to pay for ticket to Lithuania in cash
  31. Ski at least five times
  32. Complete unfinished quilts (two)
  33. Organize Itunes
  34. Be more disciplined with bedtime
  35. Send cards to friends on birthdays
  36. Assemble and hang world map at cabin
  37. Make a new email account
  38. Read instruction book for new car
  39. Have a garage sale
  40. Lift weights consistently
  41. Go to a Twins game
  42. Go to a Vikings game
  43. Get a tan
  44. Tithe
  45. Clean out computer files
  46. Sit in a hot tub
  47. Learn to bike better (possibly through spin class?)
  48. Go on a date
  49. Figure out the email function on my phone
  50. Organize my blog reader
  51. Visit Grandma in Iowa
  52. Teach the dog to “come”

So, there you have it. We'll see how I do, I guess.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Starting Off On the Wrong Foot

I spent time with a friend and her sweet three month old last night. I got to hold him and snuggle with him for a few hours. It was wonderful.

Problem is, I was also holding him when I FELL DOWN A FLIGHT OF STAIRS.

It. was. the. worst.

Thank goodness I fell backwards onto my butt and slid down, instead of falling face first. And it wasn't the longest staircase in the world (I probably only fell 7-10 stairs), so that helps some. And his mom was right there to comfort him, so that helps a lot.

But still. He was so scared. I wanted to crawl into a hole.

It didn't seem like he was hurt, so that was wonderful. I've been thinking about how awful it could have been all day (thanks to the pain in my back and neck as a reminder of the tumble).

Didn't exactly start out the new year on the right foot. To say the least.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

My Year: By the Numbers

2008 is gone. Here's some of what transpired in my life, as told by the numbers.
  • States Visited: 11 (WA, TN, IA, ND, KY, IL, WI, PA, MD, Wash DC, TX)
  • Weddings Attended: 5
  • Trips to the Cabin: 12
  • Friends who had babies: LOTS (somewhere between 6-8), but 2 extra special little kiddos (CBW and CJD)
  • Triathlons: 2 (down from 5 last year due to injury. Completed my first Olympic length Tri ever!)
  • Trips to Green Bay: 3
  • New Cars: 1
  • Football Games (in person): 4 (2 pro, 2 college)
  • Blog Posts: 66
  • Nights in Hospital: 0 (down from 4 last year)
  • Nosebleeds: 6 (a recent phenomena)
  • Half-Marathons: 1
  • Books Read: 11
  • Times Pulled Over: 0 (YAY!)
  • Dates: 0 (ugh)
  • Resolutions Kept: 0

It was an eventful year. It's possible I'll expound on some of these items in the next few days as I look ahead to another year. But for now, HAPPY NEW YEAR!