November 30, 2010

5 minutes with God...

A few weeks ago the folks in my Bible Study decided to challenge ourselves to actually go beyond the "admitting to failure" stage and move onto the "action" stage when it comes to reading our Bible regularly. I asked each group member to set aside a little time, just 5 minutes a day, to read our Bibles.

So, what now? Who cares if I have been reading my Bible more? Have I come across any earth shattering wisdom or memorized any new verses? No. Did I learn anything new? Nope, not yet anyway. So why keep it up? Why not go back to watching TV for 5 more minutes or completing one last task on my to-do list? Here's why...

1. During those 5 minutes I don't have to chase a child, fold laundry, or pay a single bill.
2. I can read whatever I want....action, drama, romance, history- it's all there, in one book.
3. When I'm done reading I don't feel stressed or guilty for having a few moments to myself.
4. The only other time I'm alone with my thoughts is in the shower and when I'm reading my Bible I don't have to look down and see all of those extra pounds I've been meaning to get rid of.
5. Quiet time. Alone. With God.

If you're not already reading your Bible regularly and you keep admitting that you should read it more I would like to pass this challenge onto you. Just 5 minutes a day.

November 28, 2010

Is it really that time of year again...

I dread a lot of things...spring cleaning, having a sick child, driving in snow, finding a dead mouse in the bathroom cupboard (yep), etc. But, none of them compare, at all, to the dread I'm feeling as we begin these last few weeks of the semester.

Jake has two tests this week and after taking a quick inventory of the rest of his schedule we have concluded that I probably won't see him again until the end of finals week. I'm not kidding either. He promised to be home in time to take me out for my birthday dinner next weekend but other than that I'm pretty sure we'll be doing most of our communicating through emails and phone calls. I hate that. Just thinking about having to be a single parent for the next few weeks makes me tired and anxious. Plus, I can forget about getting any help with the housework. I just keeping telling myself that this too shall pass. It better anyway.

The other thing I'm dreading is the fact that "after Thanksgiving" is actually here. How many of us put off work-related projects, meetings, etc. until "after Thanksgiving"? We all do. And then, it happens...Thanksgiving comes and we celebrate our joyous four-day weekend and then not only do we have to go back to work but we also have to go back to all of that crap we were putting off until December. Where has the year gone?! How can it possibly be this late already? I thought I was busy before. That was peanuts compared to what's in store for me over the next few weeks. ugh.

So, you can see why I'm rubbing my eyes and biting my lips in frustration. Work is going to be crazy busy. Home is going to be crazy busy (and lonely). The weather is getting colder. Crap. Snow is already in the forecast. Yuck. Oh well...

"How could it get any worse? We're at the threshold of hell..." - C.W. Griswald

November 22, 2010

Are you okay...

I'm no idiot. I knew going into this parenting thing that I have no idea how to raise a child, and I really didn't show very much interest in it until about 10 months ago. I never played with dolls (except to put Barbie in a suit and send her off to work) and I very seldom squealed in excitement when I saw a new baby at church. But, I was kind of hoping that the minute I saw my baby I would feel the blood of motherhood flow through my veins and my brain would magically re-wire and turn into, well, a mom. Ummmm...yeah...not so much did that happen.

I love my little Rachel bug but I can't seem to shake that nagging feeling that I made a horrible mistake when I decided to become a mother. I'm not cut out to be a teacher. I freak out at the site of blood and snot. My nerves (and quick mouth) often get the best of me when I'm stressed. I don't handle difficult situations well. And, I take everything personally. So, after holding a sobbing little girl last night (nightmares) for 45 minutes I started to think, I may not be the best most knowledgeable mother, but at least I'm out there. And because every mom needs to hear positive things once in awhile I have decided to list the things that DO make me a good mom.

1. My child lives in a clean home, wears clean clothes, and drinks from clean bottles.
2. She always has plenty to eat, although we're both still working on the actual content of her meals (I keep forgetting to give her more than just formula and baby food- I have to remind myself that she CAN eat crackers and cheerios, etc too).
3. I love my little girl so much.
4. I don't care what time of day or night it is, I will always pick her up and snuggle with her when she needs to be snuggled.
5. As much as I hate to do it, I am not afraid to say, "No" to my child.
6. I really need to go shopping for a new wardrobe but I put my child's safety first and bought a new "big-kid" car seat.
7. Rachel may not think we have the coolest toys but any toy can be fun when mom and dad join in and play too.
8. At first I didn't decorate her room because I just didn't have the time (or the money) but now I'm waiting until Rachel is big enough to give her input on the decor.
9. I'm pretty sure she's the most perfect child. Ever.
10. I am very aware of the fact that I don't know what I'm doing and I'm perfectly willing to ask for help, and that's the best thing any parent can ever do for their child.

Yep...I have no idea what I'm doing but I'm pretty sure that we're all going to be okay (I hope).

November 18, 2010

Please help me, i'm falling...

Time for Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop!

I have a problem. I can't ask for help. It's not that I won't ask or that I don't have time to ask its that I can't actually bring myself to say, "I....Need...Help."

This morning as I was getting ready for work I had an entire speech rehearsed and I even ran my plans by my husband, who seemed to agree with me. I envisioned myself walking into my meeting and telling people that not only do I feel like I'm drowning but I am also quickly losing hope that things will get better with my work load. I was going to divide my work up and even had selling points to get everyone on board with my ideas.

Instead, I left the meeting with only one project dumped off and by Noon my head was swimming with more new work that had shown up. How can one little innocent email requesting permission to buy a used typewriter turn into a stress headache and two hours worth of unplanned budget work?

To combat my stress I decided to shut my door and write a blog post. Maybe I should also invest in a mini-fridge. hmmmmm.....

November 16, 2010

The 10-month bear picture...

Either I'm getting old and slow (which is quite possible) or my child is getting faster (also possible). Either way, it's getting harder and harder to take the monthly picture with her teddy bear.

The Story of the 10-Month Bear Picture...

The first one was pretty good.

So we made the (amateur) mistake of trying for just one more...

First she got really hyper...

Then she got funny...

After awhile she was just not interested...
At one point, this was the best we could do...



We got another good one...

And then...

Everyone was done..


Next Month!

November 15, 2010

Picture this...

You should have seen the absolute mayhem that was going on in our living room yesterday afternoon. It was little R's 10-month birthday, which meant it was time for another picture with her bear. I'll try to post pictures later but for now, picture this....

2 Parents who were trying to take a nice picture (parents, you see where I'm going with this, don' t you?)
1 hand-written sign stating the date (it ended up in shreds)
1 10-month old little girl- who is walking and has therefore determined that being still is no longer all....ever.
1 cat- don't feel sorry for him, he could have left the room at any time.
1 little teddy bear, who seems to be getting smaller and less photogenic every month

I think we have one picture where both the child and the bear were seated, the cat was entirely out of the way and the camera flashed quick enough.

Afterwards, my knees were killing me, I was dizzy from running in circles trying to collect everyone and my poor husband, the photographer, couldn't hear anymore because he had an ear full of advice from yours truly.

Did you picture a child-shaped tornado sprinting in circles around a cat and a teddy bear in the middle of a living room lined with shreds of what's left of a paper sign?

"Welcome to our home...what's left of it"

November 11, 2010

Confession day...

It's Thursday and even though I should be working on the stack of stuff sitting next to my keyboard I have decided to start this day with a post for Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop.

Confession day....

1. Sometimes, when I'm REALLY pressed for time I skip brushing my teeth and just use mouthwash. Don't judge.

2. I have never, and will never, be able to successfully get my cart to load on the downward escalator at Ikea. Ask my friends...there has been many a catastrophe with that thing. I hate it. (and my leg is still in a lot of pain by the way).

3. I fully believe that I am a confident, successful, smart woman even though my actions might sometimes point to the contrary (see #2). I would also like to think that I'm a normal person and not one of those slightly crazy ladies.

4. I am jealous of anyone who can do anything better than me. I'm not that competitive but I hate to think that I am potentially missing out on an exciting experience, opportunity for growth, or just good old fashioned glory.

5. Sometimes I eat food that people bring to work out of pity, not because it's really that good (or even that I'm hungry) but because I feel bad for them. Who wants to think they, or their food, isn't well liked?

6. I tell my dentist that I try to floss once in a while but that loosely translates to when it's done in my dentist's office or after a meal of fresh corn on the cob.

7. It kills me when Rachel cries upon my arrival to pick her up from daycare. I'm glad she's happy there but....ouch.

8. Not a day goes by that I don't worry about finances. There is a reason I didn't go into accounting...I hate money. Actually, it's probably more honest to admit that I hate not having the amount of money that I think we should have.

9. I keep used Kleenexes in every purse or jacket pocket I have. You never know when you're going to need a tissue and there's ALWAYS room for just a little bit more use.

and finally...

10. I am terrified that I'm running out of good blogging material. yikes!

November 10, 2010

Time keeps on ticking...

I remember the good old days, you know....when I not only had time to blog regularly but I also had the ability to process words into full sentences that fit nicely into coherent paragraphs and formed somewhat entertaining blog posts. Now, I'm lucky if I can type my password correctly on the first try.

I love my new job, I really do. I love the doors that its opening (especially the door to my office with a window, of course) and I appreciate the fact that I have been given the opportunity to meet so many neat people and become involved in a number of exciting things that are going on around campus.

The thing is....I'm struggling. I really am. I can't seem to get my head above water and I would estimate that I spend at least 50% of my week sitting in meetings, commuting to meetings, or scheduling more meetings. I have piles of projects that I need to be working on, my house is a wreck (OK, I'll be honest, it probably isn't that bad), my weight is sky rocketing out of control and I am exhausted. Yet, all I can think about is, "Oh BEEEEEPPP I still haven't started the budgets," and they're due on Monday...all 6 months worth.

I have tried closing my door, scheduling time for myself, staying late, putting off other tasks...but nothing seems to work. No matter how hard I try I can't seem to get to those blasted budgets. ugh! Every single time I try to start them, something crazy stupid happens. Take today for example, I had scheduled myself to do nothing but budget work this afternoon. I didn't get into my office until 11:00 (after attending 2 early morning meetings) and was ecstatic to discover that not only was my email box full but one of the messages was a notice that the electricity to our entire building would be shutting off at 3:30. Are you kidding me?! Really? They couldn't have discovered the deadly oil leak yesterday when I actually left for the day around 3:00? sigh.....

Until I get those things done I won't be able to concentrate on anything else. I'm The good news about that is that I will then possibly have more free time, and perhaps even more good material, to blog regularly again.

November 4, 2010

When I grow up...

For my own sanity, I'm MAKING myself take a lunch break today and I'm participating in Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop.

"If you had made a career out of whatever you were passionate about when you were ten... what would you be doing?"

I would be busy...

I might be directing a choir full of stuffed bears and dogs and monkeys who would be stuck at choir practice all day because I am too lazy to drive them all home.

I might be delivering the news or weather or sports on the local TV station...and probably not wearing pants (because I heard that's how they roll).

I might be working as an interior designer. Although, I'm not sure who would hire me. Do they even sell Kirk Camron or NKOTB posters anymore?

I might be an actress and I'm pretty sure that every single child everywhere would want to be

I might be the most famous singer the world has ever known- and probably the most beautiful one too.

I might be a teacher, and I would probably be the one that everyone hates because my tests are so hard (it's funny for me to watch the faces of those who fail- don't judge).

I might be a banker who just sits at a desk and pushes papers around in between phone calls. hummmmm...that's pretty similar to what I do now anyway. That's odd.

But, you know what the funny thing is? I never pictured myself as being a mother. But then again, I never pictured myself as making more than $10,000 a year. Oh the innocence of a child....

November 1, 2010

Have a good day...

Yesterday I went shopping in the Chicagoland area with some friends. I have to tell ya, I feel kind of bad for those gals- they were such troopers through the whole thing. They didn't run away in embarrassment when I tripped over some randomly placed ill-designed cart rail thing. And, they even volunteered to put my cart on the cart-escalator for me (so it wouldn't tumble the whole way down again). And when I got my feet stuck in the handles of a shopping bag and danced across the drive to keep from falling on my face they laughed with me, not at me (at least I think that's what they were doing).

Despite,, it was still a good day and we had a lot of fun. I'm pretty sure there wasn't a single topic of conversation that we didn't cover and some of us (not me) even came in under-budget at the check-out lines. It was a good day.

Jake called me at Noon to inform me that our 9-month old "baby" had just walked across the living room and was currently dining on a cracker, which was also a first for her.

Yep, a good day indeed.