Wednesday, January 31, 2007

lucky number 13 ( & 1/2)

i seem to have pushed through the weight loss plateau i experienced last week. that's a great feeling! i've been trying to mix up my walking routines a little - one day doing a real cardio push and the next day adding a little more time. i think it's definitely helping my metabolism.

i am really, really trying not to let "dieting" consume me right now, so i'm not posting about it every day. i'm always up for discussion, though, so if you are on your own weight loss journey, and you want to bounce around some ideas, comments, recipes, frustrations, feel free to send me an email!

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

what we teach

matty and jack are both painfully aware by now that i will photograph just about anything. posting photos on my blog adds a dimension that i've never been able to use in my pen & paper journaling.

matty decided to keep some of the Disney amenities from our villa bathroom that we didn't use during our trip. we put them in jack's bathroom (still in the wrappers). shortly afterwards, jack asked if he could use some of the new soap. i said, "not until i photograph it."

yeah, i know. totally bizarre. and i left it at that (i never took the picture.)

a few days later, jack came and asked me for the camera. i was in the middle of something, so i didn't really pay attention to what he was doing. he came back moments later, and showed me this:

i LOVE that kid!!

in the still of the night

i don't know about you, but my favorite time of the day is usually after matty and jack have gone to bed, and i have the house to myself. (matty rises at 4:30 am, so he typically can't stay awake past 8:00 pm. jack can be more of a challenge, as he is currently having difficulty falling asleep because he's "scared." is this typical of children with active imaginations? that's what i keep telling myself, anyway...)

last night, i was set by about 9:30, and i got busy packaging up my valentine's good mail.

it was so gratifying to see all the little packages ready to go. i also got our invitations together for our first annual soup swap, and they are ready to go also.

after the recipients have gotten their valentines, i will post what i made. i'm rather proud of the little design.

a trip to Dagobah

so last weekend, my sister came over to make some valentines with us while her husaband watched the bears game. i wasn't really prepared, but i had a few crafty items around. i had picked up some word charms, and katie, jack and i got to work assembling some cards.

here is the card that jack made:

it's a little hard to read, but the charm he chose to use says "destiny."

or, as jack insisted, "JEDI destiny."

Monday, January 29, 2007

what's for dinner?

so, i've been thinking that we should be using a crock pot in our house. the thing is, i've never really cooked in a crock pot before. i typically have used it for keeping hot dips hot.

i'm sort of at a loss for recipes, and i'm finding i don't have a ton of time to traverse the www looking for them. and? if it comes with a recommendation of total yumminess, i'm much more likely to try it.

do you have any favorite crock pot recipes you'd like to share??

creative sunday

jack and i had a very creative sunday, in which he sharpened all of his broken crayons into shavings, and i finished my valentine's presents!! three days ahead of schedule!!

we still need to melt the shavings into our project (we made hearts like these a few years ago. they look so *happy* hanging in the windows of our new sunny house!). jack has decided to add to our collection this year, and his color scheme is decidedly more blue and green. i can't wait to see how they turn out.

so, it's off to the post office to send my good valentine's mail - i hope i remember to photograph it before it goes!

how was your weekend??

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

the tough part

the tough part of being a manager is that, every now and then, i am faced with having to let an employee go. this is especially difficult when the employee is someone i like a lot, and with whom i have spent countless hours trying to groom for a "better" position.

sometimes you can spend hours trying to groom someone, and they will never achieve what you were hoping for them to achieve. i never stop hoping and trying, though.

as i tossed and turned over this last night, i was overwhelmed, as always, that sometimes the path of another person's life is literally sitting in the palm of my hand. isn't that a tremendous amount of responsibility?

i know that i did everything in my power to avoid this outcome.

a feel very small in a huge universe today.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

i heart you

as i am determined to create and mail the valentine's gifts that matty and i have talked about sending, i sat down to the computer last night to begin the process. so far, i am pleased with how they are turning out.

i've spent the past few years creating valentines in my mind's eye for jack to share at school. you know, some over-the-top design that would require hours of preparation, that any five year old would cherish forever!!

however, he always votes for "regular" valentines (which usually feature spiderman!) and, really, they are his to give. finally, this year, i had an *a-HA* moment: why don't i just make valentines for MY friends??

i'd love to get them in the mail by february first, so how did it get to be the tail end of january already?!?

Monday, January 22, 2007

the woes of work

i try not to use up too much of the blogosphere with my trials and tribulations of being a working mom. because? i really like being a working mom. i am the type of person that feels adrift when i don't have work to do. when jack was a newborn, and i was home, i fell into the deepest depression i have ever experienced. i know part of this was due to hormones, but the other part? i don't do stay-at-home very well.

and, it's a definite bonus that i LOVE my job. i have worked very hard to get where i am, and this is the job i will most likely retire from. but, there are just. some. days.

i have spent most of my monday morning (usually a time i use to catch up on blog reading after an internet-free weekend) stripping guestrooms and helping out the housekeeping staff. see this adorable play housekeeping cart??

i wish being a housekeeper was this cute! it is HARD work to clean up after *other* people. i've developed such a respect for the people in our communities who do this thankless job day after day after day.

at least it's helping me get some extra steps in today!!

i'm stuck!

ugh! i'm trying not to be a slave to the scale, but i was so disappointed when i weighed in this morning. it hasn't budged since last week!!

i've been so enthusiastic about my workouts, congratulating myself for literally walking through the wind and rain and cold (well, as cold as it gets here). i was totally psyched to see my measurements are all smaller than this time last year. so, why am i still so focused on the darn scale?!?

last monday, i could just feel that i had lost weight. you know that feeling? all day yesterday, and even this morning, i've been stressed because i didn't have that feeling. and for good reason. the scale didn't budge!

(i should be focusing on the fact that it didn't budge upwards, huh?)

it's too early in the game for a plateau, i'm sure. i need to pat myself on the back for getting rid of 8 pounds since we came home from vacation (or, as we lovingly refer to it, "eating our way through Disney!")

looks like it's going to be a cold, wet walk tonight! and i'm actually looking forward to it...

Friday, January 19, 2007

in search of

on a trip to target post-Christmas, i picked up this candle. for me, it is the most amazing scent. light and citrus-y and fresh. i love to have scented candles burning in my home, but i tend to be soooo picky about the scent. i steer clear of things like "floral" and "jasmine" and "berry" scents.

so, i've been thrilled with this citrus amber candle, and i should have bought 10 of them!! you may recall, i live in a teeny tiny town, and the closest target is not-so-close. and they are sold out on!! aagghhh!!

maybe, maybe you've seen them at your local target??

Thursday, January 18, 2007

when i look to the star

OK, funny story to follow. something funny, hilarious, even, happened to ME! yes, ME! nothing funny, or at least funny-in-a-blog-worthy-way ever happens to me, so i am thrilled to be able to share the following:

i don't consider myself a scattered person. in fact, given my obsessive & compulsive tendencies, i very rarely get myself into situations for which i am unprepared. or, well, stuck.

last friday night, as i was getting ready to leave work, i pulled my door shut, and heard that familiar 'click' of the lock. and my next thought was that my car keys were sitting on my desk, inside my locked office. rrrggghh. i had grabbed my coat, but not my keys. my next thought was that my keys to the office were in my car.

and of course, my car was locked!! i can't tell you how frustrated i was! all of the following things were running through my mind:

1) it's friday night, and i want to go hoooome
2) i just had my office re-keyed, and there are only 2 keys. my assistant, with the other key, had already gone home (he lives about 15 miles away)
3) when i got back from the store with some copy paper earlier in the afternoon, i parked under the drive through by the front door
4) i thought i was only going to stay at work for a few more moments, so i left my purse in the car (with my office keys in it)
5) there were some strange looking guys checking in to the hotel when i parked, so i locked my car (with my purse inside of it)
6) i misplaced the second key to my car this summer, and haven't gotten around to replacing it yet
7) it's friday night, and i want to go home!

so, i called my assistant, who grumbled a little and said he would head over.

but then, i remembered, it's OK! because i have OnStar!! i'll just call OnStar! no matter that my membership card is locked in my car. surely they can help me out.

a very nice customer service employee named patricia walked me through about 8 steps to find my membership. phone number? nope. it didn't match my records. oh, wait, what was my phone number at my old house where i lived when i actually got this membership? nope, doesn't match my records.

no worries, they can use the last eight numbers from my VIN. i jotted down the jumble of letters and numbers and rattled them off to her. no, sorry, that doesn't match our records.

can you just search by my name? (i KNOW! what was i thinking?) and amazingly enough, patricia was able to find my membership. i happily confirmed that my car is a white trailblazer! yes, it's outside in an open area! yes, i will patiently wait for up to minute while you remotely unlock my door! she asked for a phone number to call me back in the event we got disconnected. i gave her the number at the hotel, which, as it turns out, is the phone number i used on my membership. who knew?!?

after about 30 seconds, she came back with the sad news that the unlock came back as failed. was i sure the car was not in a garage?

i'm sure! oh, but wait, i'm parked partially under the drive through at the front door of the hotel. so they attempted it again. another fail.

i knew by now that OnStar would not be able to help me out this time. but they were really, really nice about it. patricia even chuckled when i commented that next time i planned to lock my keys in the car, i would make sure i was parked in an open area. ha HA!

by this point, my assistant would be pulling up within minutes. i thought maybe i should give him a little tip for his trouble, and there just happened to be some money in my jacket. and, as i reached into the pocket...

yup, my car keys.

i called him immediately and told him OnStar had come to my rescue (because there's no harm in a teensie white lie, is there??

i have a new respect for ryan seacrest

the scene: ryan seacrest and jonathan are listening through the door in seattle to jonathan's new "friend" audition

jonathan: shoot. he didn't drop his jaw
ryan: what?
jonathan: he didn't drop his jaw. shoot!

you just can't make up these conversations!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

one step at a time

i've been walking almost every day, and those little reward stickers are just smiling at me from my calendar. how many days does it take to make something a habit? or rather, how many steps will it take to make this a habit?

my pedometer needs a new battery, so i'm not entirely sure how many steps i am taking a day. i do know that i feel better, i look better, and i don't have that arthritic feeling in my knee.

so, for now, i will continue to put one foot in front of the other.

won't you join me??

SNAP to it

OK, since i'm fairly new to this blogging thing, i always get tickled pink when i learn about a new blog gadget. today's cool thing comes from kristi, who never ceases to amaze me with the things she shares through her blog.

so, check out snap and see how it can make your blog look oh, so hip. it's a simple & free download (two things that i LOVE!!)

now, i really must get to adding some links to my blog, so you can all (and by "all," i mean "the person who might read my blog one day by accident") take a peek at what i peek at every day.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

100 things

1. I am the oldest of four girls.
2. I have lived in New York, Maryland, Georgia & North Carolina
3. I love Walt Disney World, but I don’t love Disney characters on adult clothing
4. I have one son
5. If I have another child, I think I would like another son (even though we miss out on all the cute girly clothes!)
6. I met my husband 10 years ago, in a restaurant where we both worked
7. He used to bring me Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups before we were dating
8. We have had a lot of personal struggles during our relationship
9. I haven’t grown as much as he has
10. I started decluttering my house 3 years ago, and it’s really changed how I feel about myself (thank you flylady!)
11. I have always struggled with managing my finances and living within my means
12. I have kept a journal since elementary school
13. I love to speak in front of groups of people, but I tend to feel anxious about making small talk at social gatherings
14. I am very picky about who cuts my hair
15. My short hair is always in need of a trim (because I’m so picky!)
16. I live in a teeny town, and sometimes I miss the suburban sprawl (and Target!)
17. I chose to live in this teeny town
18. I love to read, but normally I only find time to read in the bathroom
19. I’ve never been in a book club
20. I have very clear visions of things
21. I tend to forget to share my visions of things
22. I get frustrated when my visions of things don’t happen like I envision them
23. I have played the piano since I was 5 years old
24. I love musical theater and performing on stage
25. Music can make me cry
26. The first song that ever made me cry was “Never Gonna Let you Go” by Sergio Mendez
27. I was about 11 years old
28. I have always struggled with being overweight
29. I eat too quickly
30. I felt my best in 1995 and 1996, physically and emotionally
31. I am a control freak
32. I am compulsive
33. I am a little obsessive. At night, I have to check my alarm clock three or four times by actually touching the set button
34. I have spent more than ½ of my life living near the coast
35. I don’t like oysters or mussels, but I love my mom’s recipe for stuffed clams
36. I have taken sailing lessons in my life, but I still get nervous sailing because there are no brakes!
37. I find it hard to exude sympathy
38. I love to be a big fish in a little pond
39. I shine in group settings
40. I am a spiritual person
41. I don’t go to church as often as I feel I should
42. I enjoy preparing food, but don’t enjoy the planning so much
43. I am a “book cook” – I will follow a recipe to a tee
44. I am usually turned off by a recipe that has more than 6 ingredients
45. I don’t consider myself to be very athletic
46. The last organized sport I played was junior high field hockey
47. I enjoy walking outdoors, but NOT on a treadmill
48. Sometimes, I find it hard to get motivated to go out for my walk
49. After I go on a walk, I feel like I could take on the world!
50. I am getting ready to direct the show “Godspell.”
51. Watching “Extreme Makeover Home Edition” brings me to tears
52. I went to music camp for four years as a camper, two years as a counselor
53. I was in marching band in high school
54. I never thought of myself as a music geek
55. I love pizza with sausage, peppers and onions
56. I have become very good about sending thank you notes (thanks, mom!)
57. I haven’t kept very many friendships from high school or college, but my two oldest friends in the world are still a part of my life
58. I love peppermint stick ice cream during the holidays
59. Since I started lurking in the blogosphere, I have learned to make homemade marshmallows, I have made an effort to take better pictures, I have made an advent activity jar, I have read “Gifts from the Sea,” and I have started to send good mail just for the heck of it
60. I am a coffee in the morning girl
61. I tend to over commit myself, and then stress that I don’t have enough time off
62. I feel adrift when I have “free time,” hence the over commitments
63. I prefer Crest toothpaste, and never had to have a filling until I was 35!
64. I have worn glasses since the 3rd grade
65. I had braces two times!
66. I look like both of my parents
67. My hair is becoming very salt & peppery, and I think I’m OK with that
68. I have hazel eyes, and one of my eyes has a mole in it
69. My very first “job” was teaching kids how to make ribbon barrettes at a local store, circa 1979
70. My youngest sister got married in 2006, and we made ribbon barrettes during her “bachelorette party”
71. I hate to talk on the phone
72. I have spent a good part of my life thinking I’m not “cool enough”
73. I’ve been a Rotarian since May 1, 2004
74. I write with my right hand, and eat with my left hand
75. I get giddy over fun things in my mailbox, but I’m usually disappointed with a mailbox full of bills and junk
76. I typically look through a catalog eight or ten times. The first time, I want to buy one of everything. The next few times, I pare down the list to things I “really” want. I hardly ever order anything!
77. I enjoy camping, as long as there are some “basic” amenities (i.e. toilets and access to potable water)
78. I enjoy listening to live music, but not at concerts! I think they’re too loud! I prefer open-air music festivals and other places where the music is all around, and I can sit on a blanket and picnic.
79. I need new shoes!
80. I love platinum and white gold jewelry (although most of what I have is sterling silver!) I love chunky bracelets and interesting necklaces
81. I’ve had my ears pierced 6 times (four on one side, two on the other), but now I only wear one pair of earrings
82. I never wear matching jewelry sets
83. I can’t stand to have dry lips, so I am always using lipstick, lip gloss, lip balm or chapstick. I could never fall asleep if I didn’t have something on my lips!
84. I believe in chiropractic care and holistic healing
85. I also believe in Advil liqui-gels
86. I read something inspirational each morning, before I start my day
87. I leave my husband inspirational sayings taped to the bathroom mirror
88. I drive a Chevrolet Trailblazer
89. I’ve never traveled overseas
90. I think it would be fun to drive Route 66 in an RV
91. “I may not be perfect, but I am excellent!”
92. I make my son’s Halloween costumes
93. When I was younger, my sister and I took sewing lessons from a neighbor. She bartered for my mom to give her children piano lessons
94. I love it when my house feels and smells fresh. Fresh, to me, smells like citrus and bergamot or lavender or “fresh linen”
95. I hate overhead lighting. I NEVER use the fluorescent light in my office
96. I love the sound of snow falling
97. My favorite season, hands down, is fall
98. My birthday sometimes falls on Thanksgiving Day
99. I have always felt that someday I would be “famous” for something
100. I believe in Destiny

Monday, January 15, 2007


maybe it's just january, but i have been wandering around in a funk the past few days. nothing i can really pinpoint, but i felt low energy all weekend, and unfortunately, it seems to have carried over into today.

when i feel like this, i tend to drift from thing to thing, without accomplishing anything! not good for getting items marked off on any checklist!

i am very determined to finish my "100 things" by tomorrow. that will provide a post in and of itself. for now, i am going to head home for my walk, which should give me an energy boost for this evening.

Friday, January 12, 2007

i go out walking

recovery from vacation is coming along. i thought i'd be more inspired to blog about the trip, but so far, i'm content to keep the warm fuzzy memories to myself, sort of like a steamy mug of ginger tea. plus, i'm really dissapointed with most of the pictures. maybe i'm not blogging about it because i feel like the pictures would add so much to the story.

enough about that. i did print some of my photos onto cute notecards, and actually mailed them. after all, what's the point in creating good mail, if you're not going to send it??

i've been walking in the evenings, and it's already helping me feel so much better about myself! i'd been stressing about finding time to walk, possibly *creating* excuses like: it's too dark to walk when i get home from work. so, i got over it! if it means i need to leave work 30 minutes earlier right now, then i will. i am so lucky to have the ability to make that decision.

last night, during the drive home, i was seriously deciding NOT to go, until i walked into the kitchen. the first words matty said to me were, "you better hurry if you want to get your walk in." i immediately felt like going. it meant so much to me that he was able to show support like that. especially since he was already a little bit stressed out about making it to play practice.

anyway, i'm glad i went. i give myself a little sticker on my calendar every day that i walk. it seems ridiculous that the old-fashioned reward sticker can make me feel so good. i did this the last time i was serious about exercising, and it was a huge part of my motivation. it's awesome to look back on a week, a month, etc., and see all those stickers!

do you talk yourself out of exercising?
how do you motivate yourself?
how do you reward yourself?

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

When you wish upon a star

we had such an amazing time celebrating mom & dad's 40th anniversary at the Walt Disney World resort. there will be much more to come on this subject. for now, i am simply stuck in that post-vacation fog, with one foot still at disney, and one foot back to the grind.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

En route

I am getting ready to close up my office for the next 6 days as we head to Florida. It's been 20 years since I visited the Mouse, so I am really looking forward to this getaway. Taking an *almost* 6 year old along will add to the Magic, I'm sure.

i plan to carve out some time with myself to finalize my New Year's commitments. i feel good things about making this year productive for me, in a way that will nurture my body and spirit. i kind of feel like the first half of '06 was crazy, busy, and the second half felt sort of quiet, lonely. i'm hopeful that this was just sort of a hibernation period.

happy new year to all!