Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Sidneyisms

Sidney just bought a book of animal facts from her school book fair. Apparently this was a good purchase.
Sidney: Did you know that horn toads shoot blood from their eyes? Did you know that flounder have eyes on the side of their heads? Did you know that flies lay up to 250 eggs per day? 
Ashton & I: horrified looks on our faces
...Sidney, the walking encyclopedia.

Sidney has started playing basketball and on game day before I knew what I was saying, I was cheering her on by her nickname. Boo-boo.
Me: Yes, I called you Boo-boo while you were playing basketball.
Sidney: Mom, don't do that again. You're embarrassing. 
...I knew this day would come, I just didn't think it would be this soon!

We were sitting at the dinner table and going through the pile of mail. I opened a card from my Dad that contained "Christmas cash." Sidney's eyes nearly popped out of her head.
Sidney: Mom, what are we going to buy with that money.
Me: We aren't going to buy anything with this money.
Sidney: Dad, you could take this money and buy Mom a real pair of UGGs instead  of the ones you bought her last year that were made in China.
...thank you for the laugh. For allocating my Christmas present to what you think I need. But, most importantly, thank you for the unedited conversation that you bring to the dinner table every night.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Deck the Halls

Deck the halls with boughs of holly...
"Black Friday Violence Worse Than Ever As American Consumers Fight Over Deals Like Crazed Animals"  (Hawaii News Daily)

Fa la la la la, la la la la. 
Black Friday violence included robberies, shootings, tramplings and pepper spray.

Tis the season to be jolly...
"One woman actually pulled out pepper spray and sprayed it at other customers that were gathered around her."

Fa la la la la, la la la la.
"Pepper spray was used at a Wal-Mart on the other side of the country as well.  Over in Kinston, North Carolina an off-duty police officer used pepper spray as an unruly shopper was being subdued."  

Follow me in merry measure...
A woman was nearly trampled to death over a memory card.

Fa la la la la, la la la la!

A beautiful picture of Christmas, isn't it?

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Season for Giving Thanks

The Pilgrims and the Indians sitting down at a table in the woods having the inaugural Thanksgiving dinner to celebrate the first harvest while a fantastic story does not resonate with me in my "real" everyday life. I have plenty to give thanks for - more than I will ever realize - but my experience tonight really brought it home for me.

This evening I was lucky enough to participate in a wish granting training for Wishes Can Happen. During this training session, we learned how to work through the process of granting a wish for a terminally ill child - start to finish. While it was highly administrative, there were undertones of details that are required to be gathered that made an unspoken impact.

Gathering information such as: whether or not the child requires oxygen in-flight or upon arrival; securing a number of medical releases provided by the child's physician; discussing disease types and prognosis really makes one think about the severity of stress and anguish that these families face. Knowing that some children may recover, but most will not gives you a greater understanding of how important these wishes are. This could quite possibly be the last enjoyable experience and memory that the family has. One that otherwise could not be possible.

I'm thankful for the health of my children. I am thankful for the privilege to serve on the board of Wishes Can Happen. I'm thankful for my fellow-board members who see the importance of providing such a service to these families and who are willing to give up their time in order to ensure these children and their families are given the opportunity to make new memories in the midst of sadness. I am thankful for all I have. For the ability to give what I can. For the way I am inspired by these kids and how they have impacted my view on life.

Jade - cancer fighter, 5 years old

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Life Happens

My blogging has once again taken a nose-dive in the face of multi-tasking and life induced ADD. If there were more hours in the day. If I weren't running around so much. If the kids social lives weren't more social than my own. If I didn't over-commit. If I didn't succumb to the fall line up of TV. If I didn't discover pinterest. If I didn't love Zumba. ...I would certainly be blogging more about all of the fun and not-so-fun events of late.

I guess for now, I'll just live life, and catch you up on it later.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween Spirit

I don't find myself tearing off links on a paper chain counting down to All Hallows' Evening.  I do, however, particularly enjoy watching my kids' faces light up as they prepare to embark on their journey to collect their loot. 

This year Sidney decided that she was old enough to trick-or-treat on her own with her friend Sydnie.  "Sydnie is more fun than you guys."  Okay, thanks!  It took me days to arrive at a decision that ultimately let her go to Sydnie's and claim this new found independence.  That was a milestone in our Halloween history!

Ashton and I stayed the course...grabbed his friend, Anuj, my friend Aarthi and hit the streets.  We had a good time together, but admittedly was a little strange that Sidney wasn't with us. 

I survived...  Sidney had a great time.  Came home with a gluttonous pile of candy.  A notch in her belt of self-proclaimed autonomy.  A joyous occasion for her...a view from a different lens for me.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Apple Mania

While the flavors of Fall are in the air, this blog isn't about trekking through apple orchards or making mulled cider.  I'm talking technology.

Let's face it, with the death of Steve Jobs and now the release of the iPhone 4s and iOS 5, Apple is buzzing. The world of technology has something new and exciting to talk about that doesn't stem from or around social media.  If you don't have a personal assistant (Siri) on your phone, you haven't truly experienced the full capability of a smart phone.  This I know...not from first hand experience, but because Siri crept into my house, right under my nose.  Aaron ordered this perfect companion which was delivered in a tiny package on the day that Apple released the 4s.  

Everybody loves her.  Siri and Sidney have regular conversations.  Sidney asks Siri about the weather in Sanibel, she gives her a week long forecast.  Aaron tells Siri to type and send an email...she does it.  You ask her if she likes a movie and she retorts with witty comments like, "We're talking about you, not me."  Perfect, right?  Sidney and Aaron seem to think so.

I'll buy in once Siri can clean my house.  Until then, I am double-fisting between my droid and my blackberry!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Thought Provoking Statements

....some statements that caught my attention over the past week.....

"Familiarity breeds contempt."  - Publilius Syrus

"If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you'll most certainly be right.  If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?  And whenever the answer has been 'No' for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.  Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary."   - Steve Jobs

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Kidisms

I love these...they make my world go 'round!

Me:  "Hey Guys!  Come look at the rainbow out here!"
Sidney:  "Wow!  That's cool!  Think there is a pot of gold at the end of that rainbow?"
Me:  "I don't know...I'm going for a run see you in a bit."
...after I return from my run
Ashton:  "Mommy, did you find the pot of gold while you were running?"
Ah, the innocence of a five year old...

Sidney:  "Mommy is your life frustrating?"
Me:  "Not my home life, Sidney...you guys are easy.  Work is frustrating."
Sidney:  "Well Daddy's work and home life is hard.  He needs to go to anger management."
Fun dinner conversation that you can never truly anticipate...

Me:  "Ashton what did you have for lunch today?
Ashton:  "Nothing."
Me:  "Really?  Nothing?"
Ashton:  "Nothing."
Me:  "Okay, then, I am going to call your teacher and yell at her for not feeding you.  Then I am going to call the principal and yell at her for not giving you lunch.  I am going to tell them that is what you said.  Do you still think you had nothing for lunch?"
Ashton:  "I had a hamburger, noodles and bread."
Who says Mommies don't double as detectives?

Sponge Bob, The Final Chapter

The title says it all.  Sponge Bob is no more.  I can't even pretend to be sad that this little creepy, pellet-eating, lurking pile of gills is gone.  I took great pleasure flushing the fish down the toilet.  The final fish bowl cleaning was not nearly as painful as it was when Sponge Bob was still swimming. 

Mark my words...this is THE LAST fish that will enter this house!  ...on to the next little life sucker!

Monday, September 19, 2011

The Fish

If you remember my fish posts, you'll recall that I was less than thrill to add "fish" to the role call in this house. 

Well, I'm here to tell you (confession style if you will) that I would like to take a page out of Ashton's book.  No, I'm not interested in sporking the Beta fish to death, but I am interested in flushing it down the toilet.  This creepy little food stalker has not regained the color in it's body.  Quite the opposite, actually.  It's actually draining moreso than it was when we acquired this "used fish" (to use Sidney's terminology).  But, that's not all!  (spoken with an infomercial voice!)  Sponge Bob's scales are also falling off it's body.  This can only mean one thing - one step closer to being flushed.

Honestly, I'm tired of cleaning the fish bowl.  Sick of hounding Sidney to feed the fish daily.  Looking at it's molting body every day.  It's gotta be time to give it a water burial, right? 

The question is - do I wait until it's belly up or do I put us both out of our misery and consider the next fish bowl cleaning the final one!?

Overcommitters Anonymous, Anyone?

"I'm not only a member, I'm the president." 

It's been 13 days since I last blogged... Oh, wait!  This isn't AA...it's OA.  Overcommitters Anonymous.  I'm certain that there probably should be a 12 step process, but that would require me to committing to create them.  No can do. 

Seriously, though.  I love my volunteer work.  I love it more than my "real job."  I just wish I could cut the hours in the day job and do more on the volunteer side.  ...well, until I become independently wealthy, I suppose I will continue to strive for the balance.  Keep the plates spinning.  Resign myself to the fact that there may be 13 day gaps between my blog posts. 

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Race

This original blog draft was something to the effect of, "I came, I saw, I conquered..."  ...all of this based on my race training tactics and ultimately the results of my efforts.  However, this approach has been kyboshed based on some recent experiences.  Realizations if you will.

Tonight I put on my Labor of Love Race shirt that was distributed with the race packets yesterday.  I looked in the mirror and became fixated on the verse that resides on the front of the shirt.  "...run with endurance the race that is set before you."  (Hebrews 12:1)  Let that one simmer for a while while I dive into a few real life applications that have bubbled up here in the past couple of days. 

Sunday evening I suited up in my apron and hair net at the Haven as I do on a regular basis.  Every time I go I always walk away feeling like I have received more than I gave, but it is not always a result of a particular experience.  Or, in this case person.  His name is Joel.  Joel was the team leader on Sunday evening.  Accepted to the program at the Haven - the program which will help guide him to (once again) become a positive contributor to society through rehabilitation programs, housing, in-house work and meals which are provided to him - Joel's race is a bit different than mine.  Sporting some pretty spectacular ink may at first glance give you some preconceived notions about who this person is.  What he is about.  What he aspires to be.  I had the great privilege to spend the evening working along side of him, talking with him and learning from him.  What an incredibly intelligent person whose life steered off course for a while.  He's back on track.  He's training.  He's running his race with endurance and I will add, with grace.  It is my hope that he continues to endure, to press toward the finish and does so with the encouragement of those around him.

As a few of us were standing on the sidelines waiting for the one mile racers (the kids) to come in to the finish my friend Jill's sister, Becky, was cheering on every single person who was making the approach to the final stretch.  With each passing runner, she was clapping and cheering them on to keep going.  "You're doing great!"  "Keep going!"  "You're almost there!"  I looked at my friend Scott and said, "It is the people like Becky who stand along the race course cheering you on that keeps you running when you feel like you cannot go any further."  It is those people who carry you to the next mile marker when you doubt your physical and mental stamina to carry you to the finish.  Course cheerleaders prove to be an invaluable resource when you are running a race and enduring the course.

This evening I called my friend, Rose, on the way home from work.  She asked me to give her a ring, so I did.  The last time we saw each other was in California in June.  We had a splendid time together - as we always do when we meet up.  Tonight her tone was different.  It was sober.  The exchange of pleasantries was short-lived and she cut to the chase.  "Lisa, I have breast cancer.  There are some people you just really don't want to tell this news to and you are one of them."  My heart sank.  Rose is undergoing chemo, has endured surgery and will continue to undergo treatment through the end of the year.  Her race is one of life or death.  Her life depends upon her endurance.  She's an incredibly strong woman.  Terribly fun.  Full of life.  I will take a page from Becky's book and cheer her on to the next mile marker for as long as she can put up with me. 

It's ironic how life is constantly put into perspective.  Funny how all of the little nuances of a Labor Day race and a Bible verse can change the message of what "racing" really means.  Run your race with endurance.  Be a race supporter.  Train like your life depends on it - because it does.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Betty Crocker

Something that I love to do is bake.  I used to do it a lot more frequently than I do now.  In fact, I cannot point to the last time that I baked.  But, it's on my agenda for the weekend. 

One of the folks on my team is notorious for bringing in baked goods.  I love it when he comes up to my desk and sees me about to pound a pack of smarties and says, "Wait!  Don't eat that...try this."  It's always some fabulous bakery item that his wife carefully prepared.  I love it!  Today's tasty treat was a snickerdoodle bar.  Sheer bliss is what it should be called.  He shared the recipe with me.  The plan is to make it over the long weekend. 

I'm passing it along for your baking (really eating) enjoyment.  Spread the love in the form of a block of calories!

Snickerdoodle Bars

2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

2 cups packed brown sugar

1 cup butter
2 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons white sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 9 x 13 inch pan.
Sift together flour, baking powder and salt and set aside. In large bowl, beat together butter, sugar, egg and vanilla until smooth. Stir in the flour mixture until well blended.  (The recipe didn’t call for it, but I also mixed about a tablespoon of cinnamon into the batter before I put it in the pan) Spread evenly in prepared pan. Combine white sugar and cinnamon in a little bowl. Evenly sprinkle cinnamon sugar mixture over the top of the batter. Bake 25-30 minutes or until surface springs back when gently pressed. Cool and cut.

Monday, August 29, 2011

The First Day of School

Enter a new era:  both of my kids are in school.  Sidney in third grade and Ashton in kindergarten.  Can it really be so? 

It seems so cliche to say "It seems like only yesterday..."  Well, cliche I will be.  It seems like only yesterday I was fretting about Sidney going to kindergarten.  Would she know to get off the bus when the bus arrived at her school rather than getting off at a different school?  How would she find her classroom once she got to school?  Would she miss her bus once school dismissed?  ...the list goes on and on.  Of course none of my fears were founded and not a single one of them came to fruition, but it didn't stop me from worry about it. 

Fast forward three years and here we are with Ashton.  My baby starting kindergarten.

I was on edge for nearly a week leading up to his first day.  Okay, some may have thought medication was in order.  Nonetheless, I was stressed. 

School supplies.  Agenda books.  Book bags.  Uniforms.  Schedules.  Classroom rules.  ...lions and tigers and bears, oh my!  My brain was on overload.  How is it possible that it Ashton could be old enough to embark on the school age journey?  (how am I old enough to have a third grader and a kindergartener for that matter?!)  Reality cannot be contested.  The time had arrived.

Ashton completely embraced his kindergartenhood and walked into school. Head high.  Captain America backpack hung over his shoulder.  Uniform perfectly pressed.  He was ready for this new adventure.  I was not.  I must have said "goodbye" to him three times.  Each time beckoning a hug and a kiss (or three).  He was very tolerant, but I could see that his patience was wearing thin.  His face was getting flushed.  It was time for sappy mommies to hit the road.  So, that's what I did.  I turned around, bid him farewell for the day and bravely walked out the door.  I held back my tears, bit my lip and put the car in drive.  I kept telling myself, "Lisa, you will survive this...don't ruin his big day by being a neurotic parent." 

I'm so glad for speed-dial.  Through my watery eyes, I spotted the letter "J" on my phone and hit talk.  I talked to my friend Jill on the way to work that morning - as I do every morning.  Life started becoming a little more normal again. 

The day wrapped up with Ashton having a spectacular day.  Reunited with his best buds.  But, now, as a kindergartener. 

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Blogging

Who writes a blog about blogging?  I do.  I looked at the date of my last post and thought to myself, "has it really been that long?"  Well, yes, it has.  These past two weeks have been borderline chaotic.  Chaos is my kryptonite.  It makes me crazy when I have too many plates spinning, running in too many directions and being constantly driven by the clock. 

Over the past several months I have found blogging to be my therapy.  My release from dark situations.  My vehichle for documenting the many funny (and not so funny) stories of my family.  Not having the time to do it has not gone unnoticed. 

I'm here to say I'm back on the wagon.  The glitches of ironing out my own schedule and the schedule of not one, but two, school-agers have been refined.  I'm back to pounding the keys and rejoining my therapy session.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

"The Blessing"

Sidney and I were settling in for the night, Diary of the Wimpy Kid, Rodrick Rules was on tap.  Bed time is always a good time.  It's like herding cats.  "Five more minutes."  "I need water."  "I need to go to the bathroom."  "Turn on my music."  "Shut my closet."  ...the stall tactics go on and on. 

As I was working through the routine with Sidney, she started mimicking me and said, "I'm going to mouth sync everything you say."  I looked at her puzzled and said, "What?  Your going to mouth sync what I say?"  She said, "Yes, mouth sync."  Apparently I was the one with the issue because she knew exactly what she was talking about.  I, however, was clueless.  "Sidney, I have no idea what you are talking about.  I don't know what 'mouth sync' means."  "Mouth sync, Mom.  You know how people sing on stage and someone is playing their music but they aren't really singing?"  Ah, the lightbulb finally went off in my head!  "LIP SYNC!  You mean lip sync, Sidney."  "Yes, limp sync."  "It's not 'limp' sync, it's lip sync."  "Right, limp sync, Sidney said."

With each verbal transaction the volume continued to increase.  "Sidney, it's LIP SYNC!  NOT LIMP SYNC."  By now, she's annoyed and I just want to read the book so we can call it a night.  She looked at me frustrated and annoyed, pointed to her lips and yelled, "THE BLESSING!"  There was an eruption of laughter...I could not control myself.  I was nearly hysterical laughing which is contagious.  We were both laughing uncontrollably. 

For those of you who are scratching your head wondering what's so funny, go watch National Lampoons Christmas Vacation.  Specially the part where Uncle Lewis yells "THE BLESSING" at Aunt Bethany!  Now, Sidney has never seen this movie, but on more than one occassion has heard us say (complete with hand motions) "THE BLESSING!" 


Oh, these kids of mine.  My source of constant entertainment.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Reality Checks

I feel like I've had my fair share of reality checks in the past 12 months.  Maybe what is different about them in this period of time is that I have actually sat up and paid attention to them.  Learned from things.  Applied my learnings into my every day life.  At least I've tried to. 

At 5am today the alarm clock went off.  Not a morning person by any means - certainly not on a Saturday morning.  I can say with great certainty there isn't much that would motivate me to get out of bed that early on a Saturday.  Actually, nothing that I can think of outside of an early morning flight or a trip to an amusement park in my younger years.  All that to say, today was the exception, not the rule.

I had the great privilege to assist with fundraising efforts for Wishes Can Happen's largest event - the Wish-a-thon.  Two days of two radio stations promoting and educating their listeners on Wishes Can Happen and the impact they make on families in this community.  As you can imagine, people just don't open their wallets "because it's the right thing to do."  We are all human.  Give me a story that I can relate to or sympathize with and you're another step closer to a donation.  That's what this morning was all about.

My shift started at 6am.  I was uncaffeinated.  Using every twinge of will power to keep my eyes open.  My greatest wonder was, "why am I doing this at this hour?"  Within a half hour - and one testimonial in - the tiredness gave way to a different mindset.  "Did I really just have a thought of complaint that I was up this early when these parents are fighting for the lives of their children?" 

A wish recipient family came to the site to share their story with the broadcast area.  Imagine this... You've adopted a newborn baby that has life threatening health issues.  You're not even sure if you will bring him home from the hospital because the doctors have told you that it's likely he won't make it.  Fast forward three years.  This little boy Nick has beat the odds.  However, he's on a ventilator.  He's fed through a feeding tube.  He cannot walk.  He does not talk.  He's confined to a chair that carries his equipment and his little body.  The hospital that you frequent has referred you to an organization called Wishes Can Happen that will grant your child, your family a wish to help make your days a bit brighter.  To bring some joy to a situation that is otherwise overwhelming. 

I had the privelege spending time with this family and learning of their challenges.  Their heartbreak.  And, surprisingly enough, their joy.  It's a challenge to take a car ride.  Not because they have to fight with their little man to get him buckled into his car seat like most parents experience, but because he may pull his ventilator out during their journey.  He may get a clot in his airway that stops his breathing entirely and requires immediate attention.  Yes, this happens to them.  It's not uncommon.  It's their reality.  They told me this with great sincerity.  With a smile on their face and followed it up with, "We are so blessed to have Nick in our lives."  ...let that one marinate for a while.

I spent several hours taking donations.  Listening to stories.  Seeing children who have benefitted from the generosity of this incredible organization.  I walked away feeling thankful.  Humbled.  Privleged to be a part of something that impacts so many lives for the better.

Next time life has you down, think about little Nick, his parents and his sister, Raegan who's greatest worry is actually life and death.  Don't sweat the small stuff.  Be thankful for all you have.


Saturday, August 6, 2011

Looking Forward to It

There are events that are "fun" that I look forward to.  There are occassions that have great meaning that I mark on the calendar and eagerly anticpate getting to that date.  There are standing committments that may not fit the fun category, but definitely fit the meaningful one.  For me, it is the night I work at The Haven of Rest. 

Finally, after being gone for two months I will return to the Haven tomorrow night.  I have been looking forward to this night for a couple of weeks.  Because of vacations and prior commitments, I have not been able to serve in my regularly schedule position.  Not surprising, I've missed it tremendously. 

I started volunteering at the Haven with my friend Jill a few years ago.  My life has been forever changed.  The preconceived notion was that I going there to "help them."  I assure you, those folks have been helping me.  My life is more focused.  The value of family has never been greater.  How fortunate I am for all I have is a daily realization to me.  It's doubtful that I would have experienced such an epiphany without this experience.

While, yes, I give my time to serve meals to and clean up after the "have nots" of the community, they have given me perspective.  Something far more valuable than my three hours of time. 

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Story Time

Every night is story time at the Marshall house.  Bed time is not complete unless there is a book read before sending the kids off to dreamland.  Over the past eight years we have accumulated quite a collection and we are all pleasantly surprised when we discover one that we have never read or have not read in several months.  Last night was one of those occassions.

I pulled Jamberry off the shelf and story time was on.  Ashton was completely enthralled with the story.  The pictures.  Every detail was like uncovering a hidden treasure.

The synopsis of this book is that there is a land that is filled with berries of all kinds.  In this place of fruity grandeur, there are blueberry waterfalls, raspberry skating rinks, strawberry waters and blackberries that fall from the sky.  Definitely the land of plenty.  The most interesting part of the book is the post word from the author.  Bruce Degen wrote this book based on the magical experiences he had berry picking with his grandparents.  Beyond the berry picking and the preserves and baked goods that were made as a result, there was a bond that Degen formed with his grandparents.  One that carried over to his adult life and he funneled these traditions into the lives of his children. 

The tears started to flow from my eyes.  I was immediately transported to my relationship with my Granddad.  It's amazing how something as lighthearted and simple as a children's book can bring you face to face with fond memories of your own childhood.  I vividly remember picking berries with Granddad.  I had the privilege to spend 33 years getting to know him.  Enjoying his companionship.  Forming an unbreakable bond.  It's hard to let that go.  But, I will always treasure the memories.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Insanity

We all know the definition of insanity. Yet, we are destined to do insane things. At least I am.

As many recall the unfortunate stories of the fish in this house, you may also remember my great hesitation in allowing such tiny annoyances creep into my living space. Likewise, the foresight in knowing that such worthless house pets would bring much drama. But, little did I know that the havoc that was wreaked would not deter the kids from wanting another fish. Stay tuned for the insanity...

Since Sidney's fish met it's fate via the garbage disposal in a routine cleaning exercise, we told her she could get a new one after we returned from our trip to my Dad's. Who's brilliant idea was that?   The logical response to dead fish #4, should have been more along the lines of, "Sidney, we do a really crappy job of keeping fish alive in the house. Let's try a plant.". But, no. As a parent seeing their child in pain and on the verge of an emotional meltdown, you just want the bleeding to stop. To do that you plug the hole. You say yes to fish #5, knowing darn well that this outcome will be no different than the rest. Imminent death.

Fish 5, also known as Sponge Bob, is a Betta Fish. Betta Fish are fairly boring. Very creepy. Rather temperamental.  A great addition to this household, right?  Yea, not so much.  The color is already draining from this fish.  It has several white spots on it.  I give it three weeks, tops. 

The moral of the story is, we need to start evaluating the Chia Pet as a viable option for a household pet in this family!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Rest

Rest, sleep and relaxation seems to be something that I never get enough of...much like most people.  I found it to be particularly interesting that Sunday's message at church was entirely about rest.  And, it's importance.

Most folks know (religious or not) that there is a day of rest that should be observed during the week.  Typically, for Christian based religions, this day of rest is thought to be Sunday.  And, generally speaking few do it.  I'm certainly a guilty party.

The overarching theme of the "rest message" was that there should be one day out of the week or time each day that is set aside for rest.  There was a particular saying that struck a chord with me, "If you do not rest in life, you'll have no 'rest of life'."  I've swirled that around my head a few times in the past 24 hours.  My conclusion:  isn't that the truth? 

More often than not, the days (and nights) are jam-packed with "stuff" and there is no time for rest.  Not mentally.  Not emotionally.  Not physically.  I have my fair share of days, walking around as a ticking time bomb without stopping to think why.  ....my fuse is short, my capacity is limited and I'm sucked dry. 

It's time to work rest into the schedule, I suppose.  I'll be sure to set a calendar reminder for it as well!

Friday, July 15, 2011

New Beginnings

Typically a new beginning is indicative of something ending.  Today marks an ending for me - professionally speaking.  I am moving on from my current career and company after four years of employment.

My four years have brought more than just employment.  I created some very tight friendships.  Learned more than I ever thought possible.  Became involved in organizations that I had never heard of, but now, cannot imagine not being a part of them.  Leaned on my colleagues for personal support.  Provided support.  Had some interesting conversations - particularly those that were a part of a Monday morning production meeting.  Quickly learned that there is a reason (and a very good one) to have alcohol on the premises at work.  Teamed with a group of great minds to produce clever ideas.  Became a part of the solution.  Learned to speak "engineer."  Mastered international calling.  Interpreted international English.  Realized that clients are incredible educators.  Understood the value of paper trails - or in this day & age - email threads.   Helped perpetuate the idea that comedy is the tie that binds...and not to skimp on it, no matter the circumstance.  Appreciated the daily lesson of patience being a virtue, and it is not one of my strengths. 

I have gleaned much from this experience.  And, while it's a chapter that's closing, it has set the stage for another chapter to open.  I look fondly on my past four years and look to the future with great excitement. 

Cheers to my colleagues and friends!