A New Year-A Fresh Start

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If you were to ask my kids, I think they would tell you, a huge goal of mine as a mom, is for them to leave home knowing that we made memories and had memorable traditions.  We have made traditions for birthdays, traditions for first days of school, traditions for first days of the NFL season, traditions on road trips, and of course, all the major holidays.  Heck, they will even throw out that something is a tradition because we did it once or twice and they liked it so they try and get it instated as an official tradition.  I love this part of being a family.  It’s our things.  No one else may do them.  No one else has to.  But it makes us-us.  I love being a family.

One of our New Year traditions is reviewing who we were last year, who we want to be this year and how God wants to use us.  We are never perfect but we rejoice where we got it right and repent where we got it wrong and laugh at the good times we had trying.  As we set goals for this year, I vowed to not be defeated before I start.  I vowed to find joy in the journey.  I am promising myself that my healings, my successes and my attempts will be grounded in God’s word.  Do I want to lose 100 pounds?  Absolutely.  Do I want to have a perfect house every day?  Without a doubt.  Do I want my kids to have the best homeschool teacher the world has ever seen?  Definitely.  Am I going to do those things?  Most likely, I won’t do them as well as I want to. Most likely, I am going to miss the mark.  What I’m not going to do, is do it all in my own strength.  I know better.

My favorite verse has always been Jeremiah 29:11.  God has a plan.  It’s a good plan.  It’s a plan to prosper me and not to harm me.  It’s a plan that gives me a hope and a future.  The next two verses tell me how to find that plan, how to find that future.  That is where you will find me in 2014.  I will be calling upon God.  I will be praying to Him.  He will hear me.  I will seek Him.  I will find Him because I will seek Him with my whole heart.  I won’t do it perfectly but I will do it.  I pray that you join me on this journey.  I pray that you find me to be the friend that is there for you in 2014.  I pray that we make seeking Him with our whole heart a tradition.  One that we live out each day.  Happy New Year to each and everyone of you. From my family to you.

family at art museum

20 or 23 Random Facts About Me (Depends how you count them.)

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I was on Pinterest the other day, okay, I know that is not a random fact about me, I’m on Pinterest everyday but still.  I was on Pinterest the other day, and I was reading about a child who had lost their mother.  One of the things she stated she regretted was that there were so many random things she would never know about her mom. I then found a blog called “30 Things My Kids Should Know about Me” That made me think, am I as open and honest as I think I am with people?  Do people know me well or do they simply think they know me from status posts, or instagram feeds?  If anything happened to me how much left unknown would there be?  Is there even 20 Random facts about me?  I really don’t know the answer.  I literally just sat down to figure it out.

1. I can gargle the Star Spangled Banner.  Now, to people who know me well that isn’t that random, it is an old high school band bus trick but some of my friends are new so I figured let’s start there.  I can only do it if I’m not giggling.  If I giggle, I choke.  (Is that fact #2 or still part of #1?  We’ll see if we need it at the end and make the decision.)

2. All cereal that isn’t Rice Krispies makes me gag.  (I’m beginning to question how this list is really going to impact my eternal legacy to be honest.)

3. I hate people walking behind me.  I mean it.  I seriously wish you would walk next to me or beside me but it stresses me out knowing people are walking behind me.

4. When I got married, I had a firm belief that married couples shouldn’t lock into having a set side of the bed.  That seemed archaic to me and I refused to be one of those new brides who settled for the right or left of the bed. It’s my bed too and if I want to sleep on the right or the left of any given night, I would.  Marriage wasn’t going to tie me down.  That lasted about 8 years. Now, I sleep on the left.  Hey, people change.

5. I’ve always wanted a big dog.  I love my little dogs but there just seems to be something almost patriotic about having a big dog.  I had one once but it didn’t work out, her existence triggered the boy’s asthma so it was a choice of a breathing kid or a big dog.  Breathing kid won.  I still want a big dog.

6. Since we are talking about dogs, I’ve always wanted a puppy as a surprise gift.  I know this is not smart or responsible and therefore it hasn’t happened, but still. I think it is romantic and whimsical and I would love to have it happen.  As long as I’m wishing, I want it to have a bow on too.

7. I have the coolest, most amazing, aunts and uncles ever.  Let’s face it, Aunts and Uncles get a lot of attention when you’re a kid but as you get older it isn’t the same.  They feel weird that you’re all grown, they have grown kids and have transitioned to grandparents or whatever but still.  Some of my favorite memories are with my aunts and uncles.  They taught me tons about life, the world, books, movies, sailing, fishing, horses, motorcycles, music, boys, sports and politics.  I guess that is just it.  They are all very different and have very different interests and family lives of their own but they each taught me and each held that special role of Aunt or Uncle.  I love that I am still close to most of mine.  I love that they get to know my kids and still pour into them in such individual but important ways.

8. Football really did help me get dates.  I don’t know what else to say about that.  Girls, it’s not a bad skill to have if you need help in that area.  Just saying.

9. I don’t like the term best friend.  That implies you have a worst friend. I have been blessed with many friends in my time and I would never want that title assigned to me or by me.  I love my people.  They are all precious in different ways.

10. Okay, this is really a stretch for me to share.  I figure #10 is halfway so let’s celebrate that with me getting real for a moment.  I’m going to talk about something I never ever ever ever want to talk about.  Teeth.  I know I’m a nurse but please don’t take this as actual factual medical advise but here is how I think teeth should be cared for ideally.  Mouthwash first (this breaks up the gunk and kills any food odors so your toothpaste doesn’t taste like whatever you just ate).  Then floss.  Why floss after you’ve already scrubbed and clean?  It grosses me out.  Then after flossing, brush away.  I think 2 minute minimum brushing is a good start.  Then mouthwash again.  I know I’m giving way too much power to the mouthwash lobby but hey, that is how I feel about this.

11. I don’t like light via lamps.  I prefer overhead lighting.  Random was in the title of this blog, I don’t know what you were expecting.

12. My brother will always be my hero until the day I die.  No one else has ever fought the neighborhood bully for picking on me when I was a tiny first grader.  He’s been fighting for what’s right as long as I’ve known him and it’s one of the things I love most about him.  It’s also one of the most frustrating traits when you’re trying to be right against him. But nevertheless, he will always be a hero to me.

13.  I hate to share watermelon.  I love watermelon.  I really have to revert to kindergarten manner philosophies to make myself share with my family. Plus, it is difficult to prepare to eat.  All that work to just give some of it away.

14. I think ice cream tastes the best when someone else scoops it.  It just does.  There ya have it.

15. I still daydream.

16. One of my favorite bible verses since becoming a mom is the one where Mary is watching Jesus grow and it says she treasured it all up in her heart.  I do that too since I’ve become a mom.  I literally take moments and catalog them away in my heart.  I can cry just reflecting on that catalog.  I know my kids think I’m not sentimental but I really am.

17. I get angry at people who think it’s funny to post cat pictures on my wall or tag me in theirs.  I’m not entertained or flattered. I don’t laugh it off like other times I am teased.  I really get angry.  I know this is just going to make them do it more and they will all feel encouraged and happy at the thought of angering me but seriously, I have to pray and ask for forgiveness I find it so infuriating.  If I was in jr. high, I’d defriend you.  (Grumpy Cat is the exception.)

18. I’ve only heard my dad say one cuss word EVER.  It was “Jackass”.  I still laugh uncontrollably at that memory.  I have an awesome Dad who truly walks the talk.  I know he isn’t perfect but in my Daddy’s little girl eyes he is pretty close.  I’ve never felt like my parents didn’t love me or that I didn’t measure up to their expectations.  Even when I know I didn’t.  He never shamed me in that.  I pray my girls find boys like Jason and my Dad and that my boys be like them.  Otherwise, they will have only found a “Jackass”.

19.  All the women in our family were married at age 19, myself included.  My mom was a beautiful bride and taught me to be an amazing wife and mother.  I make fun of her wedding dress though.  I feel badly now because my girls make fun of mine and I do, in fact, know how it feels but what can I say, hers had daisies on it.  That to me in 1987 was funny.  Now I see my 1996 puffy sleeves and butt bow for what they are and respect my mom even more for dealing with me all these years.  She deserves an award.  People said that was too young for me to get married but seeing as how everyone in my family has been married forever (my parents just celebrating 41 years), I don’t have a problem with it if God brings my girls a guy young and they keep the tradition running.  The boy had better love Jesus though or I will chase them away with a broom.  I’m not kidding.  Seriously, I will beat them away. (Is that another random fact or still tied in? Not sure on this one either.)

20.  I still think I could have made it as an olympic gymnast.  I know the fact that my somersaults were unbalanced and that I couldn’t do any tumbling more difficult than cartwheels works against me.  I think that I really did have a heart as big as Mary Lou Retton’s.  I think I had the work ethic and I looked really cute in my American flag leo. With braces, my smile was just as nice. Just because I fell off the balance beam more times than I didn’t is just negativity meant to hold me back.

That’s it, I realize I do have more about me I’ve not really ever shared or gotten a chance to explain so this has been fun.  Nothing earth shattering or anything that will change the world but I do think it is good for us to take the time and look at our lives and see how real we are being with people.  How honest are we portraying ourselves?  How intentional are we being about making a difference in relationships instead of just displaying what we want people to believe about us?  Even in this randomness, I put a spin on things. I didn’t lie.  I didn’t make anything up but I filtered out the t.m.i., I tried to mix humor with sentimental. I mean after all, this is going to reflect on me and I do want my new blog to succeed. But being real and honest is how we build intimacy with others.  What filters are you using that you shouldn’t be with those you care about?  Which filters should you be using that you aren’t? Share the randomness of who you are with the world, it gives the world a flare of color.  My favorite color is burnt orange \m/. (Random fact #23?)