Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Sometimes, you just need your mom.

I'm having one of those last couple of days when I just want to call my mom and have her take care of me.  Yes, I've been an adult for the past 10 years(my version of adulthood came the moment she died) but sometimes you just want to be treated like when you were 5 and had to stay home sick.  I want my fluffy slippers, homemade soup, and lots and LOTS of Sprite.  Well after a couple of day worth of fighting what I had tried to ignore I got hit in the head my a metaphorical 2x4 yesterday and I crashed hard.  12+ hours of sleep hard.  Monday night, not great sleep but got up on Tuesday morning to go workout, feeling great!  Had a cough and kinda felt like i slept under a drafty window(which I hadn't) but no big deal.  When my throat has the slightest tinge of hurting I go into coffee detox mode and drink only hot tea(preferably minty inspired).  I just figured out that no coffee + early morning after a bad night's sleep+ oncoming cold= Meredith feeling like death.  BUT I stuck it out at work, I really hate calling in sick or leaving sick, honestly it irritates me to have to do it so I try not to.  I think that's probably my parents in me telling me to "buck up".  They weren't insensitive, just no-nonsense.  Alas, I woke this morning and the throat was worse than yesterday but I felt rested and like a shower would bring me new life for the impending day!  And it did! But sitting in my office, sucking on a Chloroseptic cough drop that tastes like cherry flavored dead moose butt, throwing back all the fluids I can get my grubby hands on, and wishing I could call my mom and have her bring me some of her magic soup.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The List

Who doesn't like a little Blog Stalking?????  I sure do, so here's a list of blogs that I regularly stalk.  I promise, for those of you on my list, its a compliment not creepy!

1. Confessions of a Girl Brained Moron The amazing writer of this blog was my big in the sorority  I have been a member of since my freshman year of college.  She was actually the president and all around "it girl".  She's funny and fabulous!
2.College Prep Who doesn't love preppy things and college?  I love both and this blog is fantastic.
3.Flamingo Toes Awesome name and wonderful craftiness inside!
4.Golubka Weird name, wonderful food and ideas.
5.I am Momma Hear Me Roar My current deep obsession, SO MANY good ideas, easy tutorials, and she's funny/beautiful/cute kids to boot!  Definitely worth the time to check out.
6.Tell it to your Therapist Someday Ah, my lovely sister has joined the blogging community.  As she would put it,"My blog is less 'fluffy bunny' than yours." Meaning, its real, and its real funny too!
7.Two Shades of Pink is part inspirational, part crafts and part funny but wholly awesome!!!!!!!!  I cried when I read her infertility story, I highly recommend reading it but don't do it in your office for crying out loud because you will.  cry.  outloud.  It's just a true testament to God's greatness and if you're a mother, not a mother, whatever, its worth the time to read it.
8.UCreate a TON of amazing crafts and do-it-yourself stuff that is totally gorgeous and totally easy to do.
9.Kath Eats Real Food Another awesome foody blog.  I just really like her style of simple, no hassle, real, and real good for you food.  Simply put, its simply awesome!
10.Shwin and Shwin another foody/crafty/awesomy blog.  Easy to make, easy to read, easy to get obsessed with.
11.Our Best Bites Great ideas for kids and adults alike when it comes to food.  They have healthy, homey, crafty, sneaky ways to make new food or revamp classics.
12.On My Side of the Room Sweet crafty blog with an even more awesome Etsy site with a ton of gorgeous jewelry.
13.Vegan Dad wonderful easy vegan recipes for anyone to love whether you are vegan or a carnivore, everyone will love it.

And there you have it friends, a baker's dozen of the freshest blogs in my blogosphere!!!!  I hope you enjoy!


When I think of the word "perfection", I instantly crack a smile and am reminded of all the things that one simple word can distort and ruin.  Personally, I don't think that my perfectionistic tendencies have ruined anything but a lot of things have been distorted by it.  Looking back, I see it ever so clear.
Starting in, I would say, high school I became fully aware of the way I presented myself and how the things I did, had, thought and said affected the way that other people viewed me.  I was a good kid, truly, you can even ask my parents.  I think they got off pretty darn easy when it came to worrying if I was in any trouble or if I was failing my classes. Don't get me wrong, I wasn't a perfect child but my parents trusted me and keeping that trust in tact was enough motivation to not get into trouble.  I think the worst thing I did was TP our football coaches house with the entire team and all the coaches inside, planning their attack of the state playoff game!  I was a straight "A" student, had at least one job from the time I was just over 16, I was in multiple extracurricular activities and had great friends who were on the same mental track as I was.  I think I inherently had this instilled in me, from my parents but perfection came like a second nature as well.  I had to have the newest, greatest clothes, shoes, school supplies, car, etc.  I never wore anything less than a T-shirt and jeans to school with matching shoes most days as well.  Not showering was NOT an option, I had to have my hair done and make-up flawless every day, even if I had PE later that day.  I actually made my schedule so that i would have PE first thing so I was able to not have to mess up my hair or makeup in the middle of the day.  I semi-worked to get the best grades in every class I was in.  I was friends with mostly everyone in high school(in a high school with 200 total kids, you know everyone), was in the "popular" crowd and I would say pretty well liked by teachers and students alike.
This mentality followed me into college.  I decided to pledge a sorority because all sorority girls were perfect and were instantly escalated in social status just by association!  I wanted that, I needed that, so I got that!  As part of that organization it was also instilled in us that what you do, how you speak and how you treat others reflects not only you but the organization.  I loved that, our organization had a great reputation on(and off) campus which furthered the perfection.  I also went to a tough school.  It wasn't Harvard or Yale but it was difficult and only the truly intelligent, driven, bound to succeed type were accepted(I really don't know how I got in, still to this day!).  It was very cut throat and while it took me a bit to get accustomed to this, I thrived.  I pushed, scratched, and clawed my way to the top of every class I took.  This was my definition of perfection: image, intelligence, association, acclimations, and acquired things and I had it all.
Then I graduated from college and had no job, for three months.  The one job I got was something that i believe was below me.  Please don't take this as ungratefulness because I was eternally grateful for my first job out of college.  I learned so much more than I could have ever imagined but it didn't exude the perfect image of a thriving young professional that I wanted.  Ok, fine.  The job's not the CEO position I was hoping for out of college but I'll deal.  Apartment isn't the fancy schmancy loft downtown that I had my eye on, ok.  I'll deal with that too.  I was saving money living in the pot infested, baby mama-drama, slumlorded apartment anyway.  I think it was during my last year as an apartment manager when I realized that my view of perfection was so off.  I think I was working so hard to make sure everyone else KNEW I was perfect that I missed out on a lot of the, maybe not perfect but really cool, other stuff.
Slowly, I started shedding my daily rituals, stripping down my thought process and in essence releasing myself from the perfection frame of mind that I had.  God has been refining my thoughts to not continuously strive to be perfect but to see his grace, peace, patience and many other virtues as perfect.  Which, in turn, as I grow more in Him I am coming to see perfection in a different light.  I'm not striving for perfection in my life but a life more like Christ, who is the only perfect thing.  Now I find perfection in the most ordinary, daily routines or in some not-so-great situations or in things that have pushed my limits in every way possible.  Now when I think of perfect, I don't think of how I can make myself seem perfect to others I see things like last weekend's camping trip where I froze half to death, almost got eaten by raccoons and had to walk past the gross non-flushable toilets to get to one that did flush.  Last weekend was perfect.  If you were one of the few that braved the cold/furry rabid creatures/woods/bugs/nature, you can't NOT look back on last weekend and not smile.  I think it would be impossible.  The last day I saw my friend's dad before he died (Read here) was a perfect day. Having my aunt tell Meg and I stories about her crazy family and then going out to dinner was perfect.  Getting to hear laughs from the greatest nephew in the whole world is perfect.  Drinking coffee on the porch with my dad before everyone else wakes up, is perfect.  Selling my first piece of artwork (read here) (and here) on the 9 year anniversary of my mom's death was bittersweet but it was pure unadulterated perfection.  I like this verse, because it reminds me that God gives us these moment, these events and the only roll we play in it is to praise Him for what He has done for us and blessed us with.

James 1:17 (New International Version)

17Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Funny Conversation

3:40 PM evmanorand i totally read that entire i am momma blog clear to the beginning.
3:41 PM me: yeah, she's pretty sweet not gonna lie, i'm gonna take some ideas and run
  I'm a follower of her blog now. So i'll get updates
3:42 PM evmanor: and that poor kid in the cute.
 me: her kids are freaking adorable
 evmanor: arent they???
  oh and p.s. yesterday, i saw a short bus and thought of you.
3:44 PM me: you're aweful
3:45 PM evmanor: i saw it turn a corner and all i could see is you in an imaginary helmet trying to lick windows and i lost it. no lie.
3:47 PM me: you are terrible

9 minutes
3:57 PM me: i'm eating thick candy shells
 evmanor: eww, i'm not so much an m&m fan anymore.
 me: why?
 evmanor: dunno, just kinda quit eating them and then i had a few a while ago and was like yick
 me: POPTARTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
4:00 PM so, we goin to west end first though?

5 minutes
4:05 PM evmanor i just want you to read the headline....and think....a.bout waht's coming soon.......winter.....barf.
4:07 PM me: I don't need to read that
4:08 PM evmanor: i figured if i was exposed to that, you should be tooo.
4:11 PM me: you're just not nice, you know that
  you woke up to the mean stick
4:12 PM evmanor: must be the stink of old ppl and human feces in my nose.
4:13 PM me: um, gross
  you need a therapist
4:14 PM evmanor: nah. i need a vacation. (we were on pest control and someone had poo'd their

I'm sorry but you can't NOT laugh at this.  Me(its me, duh!!!!!!!!!!!!) and evmanor is my sister.  We. Are. AWESOME.  Seriously, if you look under "awesome" in the dictionary, you'll see our picture.  

I'm turning into my mother, and I LIKE it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

For those of you who were never blessed to know my mother, I genuinely hurt for you that you never got to meet her.  She was probably the most amazing person you'd ever meet.  She'd have you at hello and a smile!  Although sometimes irritating and demanding with wicked high expectations and an emotional nightmare( I can say this because it is also a trait I get from her) she was wonderful.  She would see something in a magazine or book and instantly have to make it, if she could, and she usually could.  She could make a masterpiece out of the most random junk.  She sewed all of the costumes for her high school musical, "Oklahoma".  She was always the crafty "go-to" person for bible school and other church/4H/community activities.  I get my wicked-sweet baking and cooking skills from my mom too.  She never measured a thing, she just dumped and smelled and mixed and felt and POOF it was done and whatever it was, it was wonderful.  Domestically, she could fix anything too. Give her a shirt/skirt/cookies/dinner that was either not right/broken/torn/gross and she'd make it great.  She made us doll clothes for all seasons, our own clothes for all seasons, stockings for all of our teachers for Christmas, name doilies as well, homemade pizza(or bubble pizza in Amber and Ranae terms) on Fridays when my friends came over, would talk your ear off, loved the Lord and made sure everyone knew that, smart, funny and beautiful to boot! I'm sure you all think your mom is the greatest but I don't question why God wanted her by His side so soon, because she was so amazing and He had way bigger plans for her than could have been done from earth.  SO to get to the point of my story, I was reading a crafty blog today about this woman who makes cute clothes for her two boys and home decor for each season and she had a guest post by her sister talking about how she found these two old doors on the side of a road and turned them into a headboard and a footboard for her bed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! OH MY GOSH ITS THE COOLEST THING EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  And I must try it.  I've been looking for a headboard for ever and I just never seem to find one I feel is worth the money to buy it.  SO my mission is to overtake my dad's work bench at his house(he just made a really cool one in thier extra garage) and find an old door and make it my new headboard.  Tall order? I think not. And that friends is exactly something my mom would do.  All the other stuff I mentioned about how great my mom was/is, I can only hope to be half the person she was.  Man I need a camera to post pictures of stuff I made.  I made a scarf from and old T-shirt.  Its pretty sweet!!!  It will be debuted today at my camping trip with my Bible study, and yes if you don't hear from me in a day, call for help.  Until next time Iowa!

Friday, October 8, 2010

(Insert clever title that pertains to this post, here)

After my whirlwind trip to SLC, UT I came back home and had to begin the hunt for a new car, again. I really tried not to look for anything while I was in SLC because there wasn't much I could do about it until I got back which was late Friday night meaning I couldn't go look until Saturday.  The couple of cars I found while leisurely looking, I inquired about and they had all been sold, again going back to square one.  My car is a Dodge and I was actually trying to stay away from that brand, no particular reason, if you've read my blog you know I love my car to bits but I was looking for something new and different, somewhat outside of my comfort box.  But alas, my sister found a car EXACTLY like the one she just purchased in July of this year.  It was the same year, in my price range, had GREAT mileage on it(better than great, actually.  Almost the same amount of miles that my car had when my parents bought if for me when I was 15.), it was in essence an upgraded version of my car(and I am still not ready to get rid of my car), it has a lot of bells and whistles that I don't need but are really sweet, it drove really well, but it did have one defect.  The dashboard needed replaced so we did some negotiation, my mom always said I would make a great lawyer and I still haven't ruled that out of life options.  Except for a couple road bumps that I'm sure come with purchasing a car, we worked out the logistics and  it will be mine this Saturday!  SO, are you ready to laugh because I think this is, at the least, minorly hilarious: 1. My sister and I will now we driving the EXACT same car(the car I'm trading in is a Dodge Avenger and she got rid of her Chrysler Sebring, essentially the same car but hers was older and gray.  My old one was at least a big color difference: red).  Both of our cars are the exact same year, mine is gray and hers is silver, both have wicked sweet sound systems, mine has an additional security system(that I'm dying to test out when someone is standing next to my car.  Preferably my dad, I owe him for years of scaring the bezezus out of me!), both of us still have our names on out license plates, our mother's innovative thinking that it would stop us from getting pulled over by cops.  Easier for them to remember a name on a plate than numbers and letters which should in tern make us drive slower to prevent this, NOT, well at least in my sister's case.  We've been asked if we were twins for the entirety of our given lives, we're only 16 months apart, but now we'll even look like it when we drive!  Serioulsy, Bobsy twins party of 2! Ok, I think its funny! One MAJOR bonus that I'm trading my car in now is that it still runs and they're giving me WAY too much money for my car's trade in value.  I tried not to act surprised when the salesman told me how much, but I seriously choked a little.  And just to finish off the post, I'm going to make a list of blessings that God has really been showing Himself to me lately.  Everyone in America likes lists:
I'm blessed with/eternally thankful for
1. My parents.  Not many kids get the car they want when they are 15.  I mean not many average, normal kids get the car they picked out sitting in their garage when they get home from school one day.  My dad said he was getting a truck and I opened the garage and it was MY car.  (well they said it was going to be a family car but we all knew it was mine from the second I set eyes on its firey red self.  And who has a 2 door family car anyway, geez dad.) and I will include Nae(my dad's wife) in the parental unit group.  While they started dating when I was 19 and in college, she has to keep my dad in line and still manages to check in and make sure we're doing ok too.  I think they go above and beyond the parental duties at all times without question or hesitation, not many 26 year olds are that lucky and blessed.
2. My sister, while it may seem like we are annoyed with each other, we're actually pretty good friends, I would say.  I don't question why people think we're twins, we're close.
3. My friends, because they're my friends.  I wouldn't have crappy friends, I'm not stupid!  I have wonderful friends, just ask them! They challenge me, teach me, bless me, help me, guide me, comfort me, and make me want to be a better person.
4.  I think its a blessing that God continues to teach me patience and that His plan is way better than I could ever imagine.  I think if I would have forced things, like I usually do, it wouldn't have turned out this great.
5. My attitude, not bragging but I think my general honesty and frankness with people is a blessing.  I got charged for a mechanic looking at my old car and, while I remember a lot, I did not remember him saying it was free or if it would cost anything.  I wasn't happy but I paid it.  Said mechanic went to get my car, realized I had my debit card out to pay the bill and said he remembered telling me he'd assess my car for free and then made the cashier refund my money.  I think it was partly because I had told him that I've been screwed over by two other mechanics in the greater Des Moines area and I wasn't happy with mechanics to begin with when I took my car in.
6. the people I work with, they're just great.  There are so many different personalities, backgrounds, attitudes, demeanors, etc but I really truly do enjoy my job and the people I work with, lunch today was greatly entertaining!

And I'm stopping at 6, why?  because I want to and this is my blog and I'm going to stop writing about my many blessings and go enjoy them!  Until next time America!