Saturday, September 15, 2012

College and SUVs and Stuff

Geesh. It's been so long since I blogged that I barely know what I am doing in Blogger! It's so updated and streamlined. And, I'm not.

I am only blogging as a diversion from doing my final assessment for my Business Management class. Ugh. College sounded like so much fun two years ago. The honeymoon has worn off. I have seven classes left and I everytime I have to do an assignment I wonder what the heck I was thinking signing up for this. I'm actually listening to Justin Bieber right now. See? It's worse than you thought.

If you are under the age of 25 right now and have not gone to college, go sign up. RIGHT. NOW. It is not meant for 42-year old mothers of three. Nope. It is best if you just go now. Major in anything. Just go get a degree for the love of college. It isn't pretty doing what I do. Ummm...It's Saturday night and I'm blogging about not wanting to finish a final and now I'm singing along to vintage Edie Brickell. Scary, isn't it??

And on an unrelated note, 197,208 miles later, I'm car shopping. I figured I may get more money on a trade in if I don't have to actually TOW my van into the dealer. I may cry on that day I say the official good-bye. It sort of, but not really, reminds me of putting my cat to sleep. I've had this van since December of 2004. Many a car trip has been taken in my swagger wagon, lots of wonderful memories in this van we fondly refer to as "Stinky". However, I am going to be graduating from a mini-van and into a Honda Pilot (SUV). It just screams that my all my kids will be leaving home one day soon and I will need a vehicle to transport lumber and my seven show dogs (isn't that what people do when their kids leave home??). Oh. I don't really like this whole "my kids are growing up and leaving me" thing that seems to be looming on the horizon. I mean I like them the way they are now. No need to grow up.

You know what I really want to be doing now? Reading the third book in the Hunger Games series. But, if I bring it in my house, nobody will have food or clean clothing until I finish reading it. I'm really not kidding. The first two books were so good.

Lastly, I will leave you with this random thought that I’ve tried not to entertain. Take your kids to Disney when they have free dining. Because every time I think of Christmas that's all I want to buy for my children (and me).

Okay, break time is over. Time to write an essay on Alderfer’s ERG theory and Herzberg’s two-factor theory. Stop being jealous. Not everyone gets to do such cool things on a Saturday night.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Never Giving Up

I've been in hiding. At least from a blogging/transparent/unapologetically-throwing-my-thoughts-out kind of way. Lots of stuff happening around our house, but I've grown accustomed to the chaos. I still haven't decided if I like the isolated/"busy" person I've become in recent years so I don't know that I want to spend a whole bunch of time droning on and on in the blogosphere about life on a daily or weekly basis. But, I felt drawn here today for some reason to be honest because I'm fighting a brokenness right now and maybe somebody else is, too. I have no words to offer, really. Just a prayer and a song. We all go through stuff and we all have seasons of disappointment and discouragement. I'm just trying to pass through it quickly and with my mind set on Christ and while I know that's the best way to do it, some days it's hard to put into practice.

So, if you're in a tough place right now, this is for you. Soak it all in.

Be blessed today knowing He's Never Giving Up.....

Friday, March 23, 2012

Well, well, well...look who remembered her blog URL....

I have not posted since May and I am probably one of three people who may actually read this, but I'm feeling a little bit like I need to throw a few thoughts out for consideration.

Returning to college is pretty much killing my interest in writing. Everything is so academic, long, APA style with works cited that I miss just blogging about my guilty pleasures like Dance Moms and garlic fries from Sheetz. Life can sometimes be too serious now for such frivolous topics, though my children seem to think I can be pretty ridiculous funny most of the time.

Speaking of life being serious, I am dreading the 2012 elections. Dreading. I don't think any of the candidates can give us what we need and for the first time in my adult life I don't even know who to pull for. I read an interesting article by Erika Napoletano, but for gosh sakes if obscenity offends you, please don't click over to her blog because you will be horrified. However, if you can make it through a few of her posts without cringing from the language, she is a no-nonsense person who basically says it's time for politicians to start behaving like they are invested in this country and we, the people. F-bombs aside, the woman is insightful and I can't help but like her style of writing.

And, speaking of about The Hunger Games? My first response: Ew. No child of mine is going to read a book or watch a movie about kids killing kids. Then, I realized I didn't read the book and I didn't know enough about it and perhaps some good could come from being exposed to these themes, characters and scenarios. Age and maturity should be considered so I'm going to read it in my spare time (hahahahaha) and pray about it before I decide one way or the other if it is something I want my kids to see. I'm trying to stop condoning or condemning strictly on other people's opinions. And, quite is refreshing to think this way. Ahhhhh. However, are you going to see me pick up the Twilight series? Um. No. Vampires are icky.

Well, as I'm learning the best blog posts shouldn't babble on and on , I'll stop for now. However, I do plan to address more important topics at some point like our new Kuerig, Pinterest, media's influence on what we think, coaching, mothering, including the fact that my first born child is less than a week away from getting her driver's permit.

It may take me until next year to actually write it, but it's simmering on the back burner.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Take Me Out to the Bore, I Mean, Ball Game

I was going to write a poem about softball but then realized that there are not enough words that rhyme with "boring".

#2 and #3 are both playing on different teams and there seems to be a game to go to almost every night! I just don't have the patience for softball and baseball. It is so slow. I once told another mom, if they could condense the actual action parts (someone hitting a ball, stealing a base, running home, throwing someone out, etc...) into about 25 minutes then I would be interested. But, it is almost painful watching the pitcher pitch a ball, the catcher drop it, walk over to pick it up, throw to the pitcher, who pitches another outside ball and on and on and on.....I (and the ump) get so excited when he calls a strike. And, speaking of the umps....they have proved to be the most entertaining part of softball this season.

Once our ump didn't show up for a majors game (girls nine through twelve), so a parent from the other team was recruited to ump. After long pauses, he made some calls on the pitches but when the ball was hit, our runner made it to first just as the first baseman caught the ball. The ump shrugged his shoulders and said, "I don't know". We all just sat there waiting for him to call it one way or the other until finally our coach called our player out more out of awkwardness than anything else! However, there are some more professional umps out there. Our minors team (ages seven through nine) played a game with an "official" ump who took his job very seriously. Too seriously. By the fourth inning I had nicknamed him Paul Balart, Softball Ump. He was a walking rulebook and The Husband (who coaches our team) started to get upset when he instructed our outfielders to move four feet off the base line when they were only about three feet off. When seven year olds are hitting (or, in most cases not hitting) there is no need to stand way out there! But, he was the official expert and it made for an entertaining game. Not a play went by without him reviewing the proper way to throw a bat, where to stand, when to swing, etc.

I also keep "The Book" for games. I remember feeling like this was some great honor a few years ago to be taught such a prestigious task. However, I don't like The Book. I'm a little too chatty to do a good job keeping The Book. I had done it a few weeks ago for our majors team and at the end of the game I declared it a tie. I'm shouting, "we tied!" out to the coaches, telling the girls in the cockpit or dugout whatever it's called, and a parent came up to me and said she thought we were down by one. "Oh no, The Book has us tied. I counted it several times", I assured her. Meanwhile coaches from both teams were gathered on the field and I was called over. Apparently, I counted a sixth run that came in on a five run maximum inning (too many stupid rules) so we lost. Whoops! My bad (and, my big mouth)! I have not been asked by that coach to keep The Book again since that game! Since I'm married to the other coach, by default I usually have to keep The Book. However, I am training young Jedi knights to take over the task and now #1 can do it, as well as some of the random kids at the softball field who just happen to be passing by. I buy them ice cream in exchange for relieving me of the dreaded task.

I also like to help coach. Uninvited, of course. I think since I coach soccer I feel entitled to coach just about any other sport I go to whether I know anything about it or not. I try to "help" with the line up and throw my two cents in. I almost offered to ump a game but realized I don't like it when people hate me. And, since I can barely do The Book, I probably wouldn't know a strike zone if it hit me upside the head (and actually getting hit upside the head was a good possibility for me in my easily-distracted state....look, a butterfly!).

Of course, I am somewhat kidding. I really enjoy watching my kids play just about any sport. And, there is something to be said for being outside catching up with the other moms, enjoying the warmer weather and being thankful it isn’t raining or snowing!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Politics, American Idol and High School

I've reached the conclusion that politics are a lot like American Idol and both of those are a lot like high school.

There are stereotypes, shocking revelations, backstabbing, popularity contests, obsessions, scandals and a whole bunch of people who think they know more than they really do about any given topic. There are fans and critics. There are leaders and followers. There is victory and setback.

This comparison occurred to me while contemplating the fate of the next presidential election. Where are the candidates that stand out? I probably wouldn't have voted for him, but at least Donald Trump had some chutzpah. He was like the Casey Abrams of American Idol….most people knew he would not win, but it sure was fun to watch him! It is going to take a savvy, high tech campaign to go up against our rock star president, who believe it or not, has already been campaigning. His "town hall" meetings are basically just an attempt at reaching out to younger voters and telling them what they want to hear. Reminiscent of high school years when everyone follows that one charismatic good-looking kid even when some of the things he/she does has you lying awake at night (I'm not speaking from personal experience, my high school years were fairly unscathed in that regard!).

But, how does this compare to American Idol, you ask? Well, much of the criticism of American Idol this year is that the voting process is not fair. Many of the shows most talented hopefuls were sent home early in the race. The same will hold true of Republican hopefuls. We did not end up with the best candidate in the last election. I can only hope the same mistake does not happen again. People hear what they want to hear based on their values and convictions (or lack thereof). The most loyal supporters will pound the pavement/school lunchroom for votes (or text their vote in 200 times). Are they the majority? Probably not. Part of that problem is the reality that is created by those "in charge"....there is so much that goes into convincing people to believe something that is not always entirely true. We need to be aware of that and not blindly follow a person or doctrine.

Is it a good thing that these particular things have so much in common?  I guess that depends on your perspective.  Most of us have moved past the politics of high school and American Idol is just a TV show.  The part I'm really concerned with is the direction our country will take after this next election.  I only hope everyone keeps their eyes open for the bullying, manipulating and phony tactics that will be employed in the next 18 months.

Monday, May 23, 2011

It's Almost the Most Wonderful Season of the Year

Yesterday, we ran over to Hersheypark to grab some kettle corn.  It is convenient enough to just grab our refillable bucket and run inside the main gate (park at Chocolate World) and fill up on that sweet and salty yumminess for a mere $2.02.  #3 was begging to go on a ride (what a tease to go to Hersheypark and not ride anything) so I relented and let them jump on The Comet.  It was drizzling and around 6pm in case you are wondering what kind of a cruel mother takes her children to an amusement park and says they can't go on the rides.

As I waited for them on a bench, devouring the kettle corn (much to their disappointment when they returned to a half-empty bucket) that familiar feeling washed over me.  Yes, I was in my Hersheypark Happy Place.  Summers with season passes mean wandering the park for a few hours in the evening or afternoons lounging in a chair with my Diet Pepsi (ugh, wish it was Diet Coke) watching them splash in the water park.  I dare say these few months restore me to have the energy for the remainder of the months that involve school (mine and theirs) and all the activities that go with that.  However, this summer may challenge my Hersheypark Happy Place since I am taking double classes the month of July, #1 is in Footloose (the musical) and I am coaching #3's travel soccer team.  I still plan to enjoy my down time as much as the fall I hope to be working more so this summer sort of feels like my last yahoo.

Summertime gives me more time to reflect.  I appreciate the slower pace and the extra time available to spend with family and friends. I can read and write for the fun of it.  There is a vacation of some kind to look forward to each summer. And, I like to grab my Bible and coffee in the early morning on my days off work and hang out on the deck before anyone else wakes up clamoring for breakfast and "what are we going to do today?".  I keep the snacks on hand for the impromptu pool parties that seem to spring up when the kids invite their friends over.  There is mint tea to brew and chicken to grill.  I really appreciate these small things....including the kettle corn!

Monday, February 28, 2011

TurboFire - Day 6 (And, A Quick Miscellaneous Thought)

Sorry that I am boring you with these daily exercise/dieting updates. But, I'm really shocked that I haven't fallen off the wagon.  And despite it going well, I'm actually not much in the mood to talk about it.

There seems to be so much transitioning, especially with my girls.  They are living in the valleys and on the mountain tops recently and I am becoming drained.  The weight of responsibility of being their mom is weighing on me.  Am I doing enough (or, too much?)? Am I praying enough? Did I say the right thing?  Argh. They sure are not getting any younger (and, neither am I!) and I am trying to let go and hold on at the same time. 

It is definitely one of those times to press into God.  His word, His promises, and His love outshine all the questions and uncertainty.  He creates a perspective that is the valleys and on the mountain tops. 

Sunday, February 27, 2011

TurboFire - Days 3 thru 5

I like it! 

I really like it!

I feel great.  I have been eating well (no sugar!) and doing the TurboFire workouts and I have so much energy that I jump out of bed each morning (after I push the snooze button 2-7 times).

It is not easy, but a very simple conviction struck me this week:

The only way to lose weight is to burn more calories than I eat.

That's pretty profound, I know.  Actually I have know that for a long time, but I was hoping for some quick fixes and a revolutionary "Cake Diet" to be discovered.

Weekends have always been a struggle for me overeating and choosing foods that are filled with empty calories (can we say Comfort Food?).  With God's grace I had a successful weekend and I feel really good. And, each time I work out, it is encouragement for me to eat healthier. 

I've decided that life is too short to be stuck feeling uncomfortable and worn out.  I want to have the energy I need to do all that God has set before me each day....and, I want to buy a pair of skinny jeans. 

Well....just kidding about the jeans! :)