Monthly Archives: November 2012

Sometimes it’s Hard

Life.

Being a good mom. wife. daughter. friend.

Helping with kids’ activities.

Keeping my house clean and organized.

Helping kids pick careers and colleges.

Managing daily schedules.

Helping kids navigate living away from home.

Trying to support them when they feel lost.

Motivating them when they can’t seem to find it on their own.

Challenging them to write a better English paper.

Making sure there is something for dinner. or breakfast.

Trying to eat healthier.

Scheduling doctor appointments.

Deciding whether to refinance the house.

Finding time to be creative.

Feeling guilty when I can’t do it all.

Making time for things that feed my soul.

Working full-time.

Doing my job well.

Giving 100%.

Alway feeling like I’ve forgotten something.

Hiring new staff.

Being present in the moment.

Covering for open positions.

Trying to make the biggest impact.

Remembering why I do what I do.

It’s so much.

Acknowledging the troubles I have are small.

Loving myself enough.

Knowing I am not alone.

Realizing I am so blessed.

And still feeling overwhelmed.

Sometimes life is hard.

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Filed under Lifestyle, Randomness

Shop Intentionally

There is a lot of buzz lately about shopping locally. People are getting passionate about supporting locally owned and operated businesses; run by people they know. I love the idea of supporting entrepreneurs! I think knowing the person you buy products from, the people you do business with is so much more comforting. It feels good and right.

But I have a couple of issues with the way this is sometimes portrayed and the lengths it is taken to. Here’s why.

First, nationally or regionally owned businesses do employ your neighbor! The ad touting that when you buy local you are helping pay for a kids music lessons or buy their soccer uniform. True. And that’s good. But guess what? When you buy from a national conglomerate you are doing the same thing. The people who work in that store depend on their wages and often profit-sharing to pay for their kid’s school supplies, baseball fees and their own retirement! Gosh, when you buy bread from the regional grocery chain, you are helping me pay my son’s college tuition! When those sales go away, so do staff. When sales are down, so is my husband’s profit-sharing. That hits a little close to home for me.

Second, many national chains are franchised meaning the local store is owned and operated by your neighbor. This is especially true in the food industry. By eating at the national pizza chain you are paying for a kid’s braces! Our world is much smaller and more connected than this movement reflects. I heard an ad on the radio encouraging people to buy their car at the dealership that is locally owned so your money stays right here in your community. Well duh! The wages for the sales people, the support staff, the mechanics all stay local. But if you really want to be local, you better only buy a car manufactured in your community or the money is leaving!

Just to be clear, I love the idea of supporting great businesses! I like promoting good behavior with my dollars. I would like to propose a different spin to the Shop Local movement though. How about we encourage others to shop intentionally. Know the business you buy from and what kind of corporate citizen they are. Know what they do to support the community and their employees. Learn about their environmental practices, their manufacturing sources, their employee benefits. Yes, it’s more work. Sounds like a first world problem to me.

Take the time to get to know the companies you patronize. Learn where they stand and make choices about how to spend your dollar. Make an impact in your community and our small, interconnected world by how you spend your dollars. That’s a powerful way to make a difference every single day.

And that’s a movement I can get behind!

Shop Intentionally!

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Filed under Advice, Lifestyle, The State of Affairs

A Few of My Favorite Things – for weight loss

I’m still going! Bet you thought I fell off the wagon didn’t you? Nope. Just been crazy busy and haven’t had a lot of new info to post. I’m waiting for a milestone and it is quite elusive right now. In the meantime, I thought it would be fun to share some of my favorite things. You know, the things that get me through!

Greek Yogurt – it’s a fabulous substitute for sour cream and boy do I love sour cream! Greek yogurt has about the same number of calories in a CUP that sour cream has in a TABLESPOON! That’s crazy!

These tortillas – I use them for breakfast nearly every day with either fried or scrambled eggs. Nummy and the lowest calorie I can find that doesn’t taste like cardboard.

Apples – just sweet enough with lots of substance. I’m a fan of Fuji, but Honey Crisps are good too {I just think they are way overpriced}. An apple can satisfy my sweet tooth and get me through the day!

Tuna Creations Herb & Garlic – so tasty and doesn’t even need mayo! {I didn’t believe it either – try it!} I love this with a little Asiago cheese on toasted beefsteak rye. In fact that’s what I’m having for lunch today! Mmmm…

My Scale – never thought I’d say that! But I love having a good digital scale that tells me way more info than I need. I try not to weigh every day, but most of the time I can’t help myself. It does keep me in check. When it moves up a few tenths it’s a good reminder to behave tomorrow:).

Lose It! the app – I mentioned this before, but it is really a staple of this process for me. Even when I don’t log every day, I can use it to track my weight, look back at what foods I’ve eaten before for ideas, and look at the nutritional make up of what I’m eating. This screen shot is from yesterday – told you I love the tortillas and greek yogurt:). Highly recommend the app!

I’m still plugging away; in it for the long haul. It’s not glamorous or exciting. Just plain old, plain old. But it’s working and that matters. I’m encouraged when I catch myself making good choices without thinking about them! I think I should get myself some gold stars shouldn’t I?! 🙂

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Filed under Goals, Health, Lifestyle

The Morning After

The election is over. There is a victor. I voted for the Romney/Ryan ticket on the presidential ballot because I believe that is what our country needed. And today I am deeply disappointed. That’s how it is in every election. There will be winners and losers, those who are relieved and those who are sick to their stomach. That is nothing new. But in the day of social media it is all played out in real-time. People type before thinking and hide behind the anonymity of the internet.

Platitudes and flowery pleas to all come together abound. It is the morning after the election and it seems I am supposed to set aside my convictions, forget my concerns and rally behind the winner. It’s done and it’s time to move on. Trust the process and support the results win or lose. 

But I don’t think that’s how it really works. I do trust our electoral process, that doesn’t mean I always agree with the outcome. And honestly, to tell me to move on feels like a condescending pat on the head. As though I should suddenly set aside my beliefs and get onboard the train. Like the opinions that informed my vote are no longer important. I think it is appropriate to take some time and give some space to those who don’t agree with the decision the country made.

The reality is our country is extremely divided. An election won by a 2% margin {looking at the popular vote} is by no means a mandate. That means it will take a great deal of effort to be the president of both halves of the country. Half of the people in this country have real and valid concerns about where we have been and where we are headed. That needs to be acknowledged and validated. There is much progress to be made in serving all of the country.

In the interest of moving forward, I will do my best to calm the knot of worry in my stomach and support the man who our country elected president. But can I have a minute please? And I will do my best to forget the frustration and disappointment I have felt at the way things have gone for the last four years, to start fresh with an open mind and a clean slate. That won’t be easy.

But I do ask for something of our President in return.

I ask that our president serve all of the country, not just those who voted for him. That he listen to the concerns of all of the country and try to understand and serve those who think differently than he does. I ask that he work for all of us.

I hope our president will be mindful of the fact that, like many before him, he did not win the hearts of the vast majority of this country. And I hope that he will work tirelessly to earn the trust and respect of those who did not vote for him. That he will work to unite our country; rather than divide. Only when the president is able to find intersections of agreement and build consensus will he truly move our country forward.

Our president now has the freedom to move forward any agenda he desires without concerns of re-election. I hope that he will take seriously his responsibility to all the people of this country and make it his legacy to unite our country. Truly listen with humility and an open mind to those who believe differently. Seek common ground, intersections in beliefs and universal passions. Desire earnestly to unite our country through compromise and collaboration.

If our president can do that, he will earn my trust and respect.

Maybe we the people, through our ever-present social media can set that example. Maybe we can seek to understand before being understood. Seek points of agreement to build upon. Do you think we could show each other the same respect online that we would when talking in person? Maybe we could give each other some space and time to adjust. Could we respect each other’s opinions and beliefs without discarding our own? Now that would be real progress.

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Filed under The State of Affairs

Sideboard

I made my first Craig’s List purchase  a month ago. Middle Son went with me to check it out. It is a really solid piece of furniture! So he and the seller loaded it in our van, I paid the man and we headed home. I have to say I was a bit creeped out by the idea of going to a stranger’s house to buy something. But we survived just fine.

I had been searching for a while for something to use in my dining room. I had a shelf I had purchased and painted when we first moved into this house. It worked, but all the shelves were open and I really wanted a cleaner look; something with doors or drawers. I’ve seen some great repurposed mid-century hutches that I really like, but I have this awesome mantel on the wall. So I really needed a sideboard rather than a hutch.

I knew I wanted to paint it, although when I stripped it I did hesitate for a minute. The wood looked so good! But I already have two shades of wood with my floor and table. I don’t want to throw another in the mix. So on went the primer.

As a side note, I found a great no-odor stripper that I could use in the house. Good thing since it was getting cold outside.

We picked a yellow a few shades darker than our living room. It was actually paint I already had and it really pops against the red-orange walls.

I really  love how it turned out!

I love the clean lines.

Since it was such a simple design, I added quirk with the drawer pulls.

Each drawer has a different pull.

Love them all! And the best part of the whole thing?

Ok, there are two best parts.

  1. I only spent $100 on the entire project! Perfect for a frugal girl like me:).
  2. I started and finished this project in the same month! {I would have been done more quickly, but I had a weekend out-of-town for work in the middle.} I never finish a project that quickly!

I also have lots of free space in the hall closet where I used to keep many of the things that are now in my sideboard.

Yay for upcycled furniture! Yay for storage space! Yay for finished projects! And Yay for getting to be creative!

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Filed under Home Improvement