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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Weekly Wednesday Top 10

It’s that time again – the weekly top 10.

Today we attended the funeral for Sean’s friend Peter’s brother. It was a beautiful but expectedly sad service. My heart is just heavy for them. As I was getting ready this morning I was thinking about how many people were doing the very same thing—preparing to show their support for Peter’s family and say goodbye to his brother.

And just like earlier in the week, I remembered the comfort that such support provides in times like these. It made me think of a quote/song lyric that I hear time and time again. “I get by with a little help from my friends.” This couldn’t be truer for Sean and his friends. Seeing them all come together, especially in times like these, shows just how deep their friendship goes and how blessed they are to have each other.

You see, I’m slightly obsessed with quotes and song lyrics that have meaning or inspiration to me. I’ve got lists miles long of some of my favorites. Narrowing it down to 10 is near impossible, but for the sake of this week’s entry, I will try.

So here are 10 of my favorite quotes/passages/lyrics, at least as they speak to me on a day like today (so I apologize if they all seem to have a common theme):
  1. “For everything there is a season…a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance.” –Ecclesiastes 3:1-4
  2. “I’ll lean on you, and you lean on me, and we’ll be okay.” –Dave Matthews Band
  3. "Time is too slow for those who wait, too swift for those who fear, too long for those who grieve, too short for those who rejoice, but for those who love, time is eternity." –Henry Van Dyke
  4. “A new wound makes all the old ones ache again.”   –Mignon McLaughlin
  5. “What we have once enjoyed and deeply loved we can never lose, for all that we love deeply becomes a part of us.” –Helen Keller
  6. "Life is too short to be anything but happy. So kiss slowly, laugh insanely and forgive quickly. Take chances, give everything and have no regrets" –Unknown
  7. “If ever there is a tomorrow when we’re not together, there is something you must always remember. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we’re apart…I’ll always be with you.” – Winnie the Pooh
  8. “Love…bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends” –I Corinthians 13:7-8
  9. “Be a best friend, tell the truth, and overuse I love you. Go to work, do your best, don't oustmart your common sense. Never let your prayin' knees get lazy, and love like crazy.” –Lee Brice
  10. “What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Monday, October 25, 2010

Comfort

Weekends are too short. The end.

Ok, that’s not really the end of this post, but it probably should be. I always feel like Monday morning comes much too soon.

This weekend we learned that the brother of one of Sean’s best friends died on Friday night. It is horribly sad and there simply aren’t words to describe how sorry I am for their loss.

You would think that as someone whose experienced loss enough in her life, I'd know by now the “right” words to say when things like this happen. First of all, I don’t know that such words even exist. And second of all, whether the person who died is someone I’ve met once or a thousand times, it never gets easier to find words of wisdom.

On Saturday night we got together with Sean’s friends, just to be there and show their support. I was telling Sean on the way home that I can’t quite explain why, but I find incredible comfort in simply being together in times like this. We didn’t do anything profound on Saturday--nothing we don’t already do when we all get together. But the simple act of being together moves me. And I think others feel it too. I know it meant a lot to Sean’s friend to have his buddies all show up. And I know it meant just as much for each of them to be there.

So this week I send my thoughts and prayers to their family and all families who are grieving the loss of someone, whether it’s been 2 days or 20 years.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Weekly Wednesday Top 10

As promised, my weekly top 10 is here.

This week—TV shows.

I have to admit, I love TV. I remember growing up, and even still today, all of the constant reports about how watching too much TV fries your brain, makes you “less smart,” leads to obesity, blah blah blah. I know that excessive TV watching isn’t the best thing for you. And it’s not like I watch TV so much I forget the difference between reality (not even reality TV) and fiction. But I still love the feeling of cozying up on my couch at the end of a long workday or vegging out on a Saturday morning and letting the TV entertain me.

There, I said it. Don’t judge.

So without further ado, here are my top 10 favorite shows as of late (and in no particular order). Let me remind you again – don’t judge!

1.     Parenthood
2.     Amazing Race
3.     Teen Mom
4.     Say Yes to the Dress (or any wedding show for that matter)
5.     One Tree Hill
6.     The Biggest Loser
7.     Brothers and Sisters
8.     Grey’s Anatomy
9.     Big Brother
10.  Friday Night Lights (even though it’s not even on regular TV anymore)

Turns out, this Top 10 list was harder than I thought. I would’ve added several more shows if it were a top 15, or even top 20. Maybe I have a TV-watching problem after all???

Monday, October 18, 2010

Change is good

Growing up, I used to rearrange my bedroom all the time. I found it so fun to come up with creative ways to position my furniture, and loved changing the flow of the room on a regular basis.

In recent years, my bedrooms (and general living quarters) haven’t really been conducive to multiple arrangements. But yesterday, I decided there may be another way to position the furniture in our bedroom. It didn’t take long (we have only a few pieces of furniture and a pretty small room), but the makeover was complete!

I love changing things up. I mean, I was actually excited to go to bed last night. Because the bed was turned a different way? Who knows! At least I can appreciate the small things in life.

So the first night went fine, but as is true with anything in life, change can be harder for some rather than others.

 

Friday, October 15, 2010

Patience is a virtue

Life is short. This is a phrase I find myself saying often. It’s too short to let little things get in the way of your happiness (yet, it still doesn’t stop me from stressing over little things). It’s too short to make excuses. It’s too short because there are some really wonderful parts of life that I wish I could cherish over and over again. I could go on forever.

So while I find myself saying this often, I also find myself not staying true to my own advice.

How in the world can I possibly wish time away? I try not to do this on a regular basis. And when I do find the feeling creeping up, I instantly begin to squelch it with reminders that I must be crazy.

But tell me, don’t you ever look forward to things so much that you find yourself saying “I can’t wait until _____?” I know this isn’t the same thing as wishing time away, but it sort of is. I look at things I have ahead of me and almost wish that we could skip some time and just get there.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Introducing: Weekly Wednesday Top 10

Last Wednesday I posted the Top 10 reasons I drag my butt out of bed to go to the gym in the morning. In an effort to keep me writing here at a very minimum of once a week, I’m going to start a Weekly Wednesday Top 10.

Today’s Top 10 (because we were working out some house stuff lately and I have house on the brain): things I would do to my house if I had infinite amounts of money.

Don’t get me wrong. I love our house. We found a charming, updated home in a neighborhood we adore and a price we could afford; we couldn’t ask for more. But no matter what house you live in, most of us could probably think of things we’d do to it if we had the extra money to do it with. Of course, most people would probably just buy some big beautiful, perfect house with infinite amounts of money. But play along.

If someone came to me and said, I’ll do whatever you want to the house you live in right now, these are the 10 things I’d probably do, in no particular order:

  1. Put an addition on upstairs and make a master suite (with a walk-in closet? Yes please!)
  2. New windows!
  3. New siding
  4. A porch
  5. Finish the basement (which would also include a sump pump)
  6. A new garage door
  7. Update the landscaping (better grass, more flowers, etc.)
  8. Leaf guard gutters
  9. New doors – front and back
  10. Bathroom on the first floor

Ahh, a girl can dream! Some of these are more realistic than others, and some we could probably manage to do on a smaller scale. Let’s face it, we’d be lucky to do 1 or 2 of these projects in the time we live here. But at least there’s something to work toward!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Meet Oliver

Almost 4 years ago, I woke up Christmas morning to this:


The little guy standing near the top of the photo was all mine! My Christmas-list requests for a Yorkie puppy had come true. Never in the world had I imagined my mom would actually get me a puppy, but I was thrilled!

We had some trouble naming him at first, but after spending Christmas day with Sean’s dad’s side of the family, his grandma gave us the idea for “Oliver.” I instantly fell in love.

Let me tell you a few things about my little man.

He is the best snuggler. He loves to curl up next to you or in your lap, whether you’re sitting on the couch or sleeping in bed. When you hold him and put him on your shoulder like a baby, he nestles his little head next to yours and lays their peacefully. It’s like heaven.

He is naughty. Mostly due to terrible parenting (I’ll shamefully take all the blame), he still – at 4 years old – hasn’t mastered the go-to-the-bathroom-outside thing. Some days he’s great; other days he’s full of accidents. Terribly frustrating. Just one reason he needs an intervention – I’m obviously incapable of teaching him myself.  

He is 7 pounds but thinks he’s 70. He goes crazy when he sees other dogs (expect for his uncle Murphy, my mom’s Yorkie, who is his best friend).

He might hate babies. This isn’t as mean as it sounds. The few times he’s seen babies or very small children, he has incessantly barked at them (that’s it). I haven’t brought him near small children in a long time for this very reason. What will I do when or if I have children? He better get used to them by then!

We have 101 nicknames for him. It started out pretty simple. We used to call him Ollie, a logical shortened version of his original name. Then Sean started calling him “Vern” and it sort of stuck. Since then, we pretty much call him anything that comes out of our mouth – often something that rhymes, is not at all tied to his real name, and is not always politically or logically correct. Examples of our most frequently used nicknames include: Vern the worm, Vernon the German, verminator, monkey face, German the worman, Verny the Germy, Herbert the pervert, pupp-a-lafugus, and so many more!  

But he’s so incredibly cute and lovable that you can’t help but forgive him for his faults  (maybe that’s just because I’m his mommy). He gets so excited to see me when I get home that it melts my heart. He knows when I’m upset and curls up next to me to make me feel better. He’s a great little companion and while he needs some work, preferably from the dog whisperer, I love him to pieces.


P.S. I’m not kidding about the dog whisperer. If you know a way to get to Cesar Millan or someone equally as talented, please let me know. I’d love to know the reasons for Oliver’s crazy behavior sometimes.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Random Rant

This morning I was on the elliptical, just a few minutes from being done, when I suddenly noticed an overpowering smell of smoke or something burning. No one around me seemed to be alarmed but I kept looking around to make sure the gym wasn't on fire somewhere. It was that strong.

When I was done and got off the machine to get a rag to wipe it down, I walked right past a guy I had noticed get on an elliptical about 6 down from me just a few minutes before. Aha! The smoke smell. It was HIM! Seriously, 6 ellipticals away and I could've sworn the building was burning around me. Dis-gusting!

I am not a fan of smoking. I'm not trying to be condescending or look down upon those who smoke. My mother was a smoker for years (not that I approved then) but has thankfully been smoke-free for quite a while! I know plenty of people who smoke and it is to each their own. Most smokers I know manage to do so without constantly reaking of ash.

But sir, how can you honestly not notice that you smell like you bathed in chimney soot? You single-handedly stunk up an entire area of a gym that is usually so overpowered with the smell of sweat that you can't notice anything else. Not to mention it was 6:00 in the morning! Gross.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Why I do it: My top 10 list

Almost every morning before work I drag my sorry ass out of bed and make my way to the gym. I usually make it about 4 days a week, often finding 1 day of the week to allow myself the simple pleasure of sleeping past 6 a.m.

Most days it’s a struggle. The alarm starts blaring around 5:15 and I quickly fumble in the dark to silence it before it wakes my sleeping boyfriend (or my sleeping dog). I almost always allow myself a 5 minute snooze session. But I also usually spend that 5 minutes willing myself to get out of bed, thinking of reasons it’s worth emerging from the warmth of my bed at such a ridiculous hour. It's challenging, but I get through it.

There will always be days where I find those reasons to be far less compelling than the alternative. I will undoubtedly have times where I simply give in to my excuses and longing desire for an extra hour of sleep.

But most days, I do listen to those reasons.
  1. One of my best friends has already been awake for at least a half hour and is making her way from her home 20+ minutes away. I live 5 minutes from the gym and have no excuse.
  2. Said friend would be awfully lonely if I left her stranded on such short notice.
  3. Guilt.
  4. I may be struggling with losing that last 10–15 pounds, but I must at least maintain my weight.
  5. Guilt.
  6. I may not drink coffee but exercising is the energy that gets my day started. I am exhausted right now, and I’ll be exhausted in 20 minutes. But within 15 minutes of beginning my workout, I’m going to feel great. And when it’s over and I’m showered, I’m going to feel even better.
  7. Did I mention guilt? I can get myself to the gym but I somehow often lack the willpower when it comes to food. So if I’m going to eat those animal crackers before breakfast and eat that fudge bar after dinner, I’m at least going to try and stifle that guilt with the reassurance that I worked out today.
  8. I feel good today. There will be days when I’m sick or legitimately too tired to go. Don’t use your free pass on days that aren’t worth it—or you’ll feel guilty (again with that darn guilt!)!
  9. Habit. It’s become such a routine for me that I’m used to it that it feels weird if my day starts without it. 
  10. The compliments. The recognition from others. Call it superficial if you want, but remembering when someone said “You look really great” is incredible motivation for keeping up the hard work.
So there you have it—a few of the reasons that somehow motivate me to make my regular appearance at the gym before the sun even makes an appearance in the sky. Some reasons are probably better than others, but they are what they are. They work for me and I’m quite content with the routine I’ve come to master (most of the time). 

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Back with a weekend recap

I finished my second-to-last MBA class on Friday. You would think that means I would have more free time to post, but of course I simply haven’t found the time!

This past weekend was lots of fun. I took Friday off for a much-needed long weekend. Sean and I spent most of the day together. We had lunch at Bread and Chocolate. I of course already looove their cookies, but I was also impressed by their sandwiches. That afternoon we went to the mall for a bit, and then out with some of Sean’s friends from work.

Saturday we went to my friend Katie’s wedding. Congrats to Katie and Eric! It was a beautiful day, a beautiful ceremony, and of course a beautiful celebration! I love weddings!

Sunday we woke up bright and early (well, actually just early) to make the long drive to Green Bay, Wisconsin. A friend of Sean’s dad gave his family 4 tickets to the Packers game, so Sean, his youngest brother and his girlfriend, and I went for the day. I had never been and was very impressed. The drive I could do without, but it was worth it. It was crazy to see the entire town, at least in the near vicinity, in football mode. Tailgating and pre-game events were fun, and our seats were great. We were caught in the shadows of the scoreboard for a bit near the end of the game, but we stayed warm enough to make it through. A very cool experience and I’m sure not my last.

Many people have asked of my excitement to go to a Packers game. Yes, I’m from Minnesota. I am aware that the Packers are our ultimate rival. But converting to a Packers fan sort of came with the territory of being Sean’s girlfriend. And that’s ok with me. Let’s be honest – I don’t see the Vikings out there doing much on the field worth watching. There, I said it!

All in all it was a great fall weekend. Looking forward to a few more before the frost permanently settles and we’re locked into another Minnesota winter.

My goal is to write in this much more often – at least for this week I have off of school. I’ve toyed with the idea of doing the “30 day challenge” and forcing myself to write in it every day for a month, but with school and work as busy as it is, I don’t think it’s realistic. But, there are some great ideas out there for fun topics to write about, so I’ll use those as inspiration to keep me writing when things get too busy to think straight!