Half an Orange (not a a lemon)

When life gets tight and stressful, and our days seem to boil down to switching who gets to go on the computer first to finish their homework, the little things make all the difference.

Yesterday it was the simple gift of a half of an orange.

Speaking of fruit, we’ve been getting some lemons lately. Not the eating kind, but the omg-life-is-so-stressful-and-tight-and-I-just-want-to-escape-to-Mexico kind.

H is great at showing me how small things can really illuminate those stupid lemons.

Like, instead of complaining that we can’t go out to eat ‘cuz its too expensive, we eat dinner by candle-light at home and grab some “champagne” to fancy it up (ya, I know you know don’t drink).

Or instead of complaining that we can’t go to Mexico this year (AGAIN!), we can shut the bathroom door and stand by the heater that blasts out amazing tropical heat on us and smile.

Or instead of complaining that life is so gosh-darn-busy-I-wanna-shoot-myself, I can be happy in the moment, even if its a simple gift of a half an orange.

 

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5pm has gotten better

Victory in the making!

Let me explain.

For the past 4 years I’ve worked at a wonderful, evil, amazing, stressful, emotionally draining, completely 100% rewarding, and omg i’m-making-a-huge-difference-in-the-lives-of-a-lot-of-needy-kids kinda job. The ying yang of it is a real B though. And the fact that I work 2 other jobs (as most other lovelies do doing the kind of thing I do to support their family on their meager salary) and for the past 3 years have gone to night school part time is also a real B.

You know the drill. 5pm.  You get home from all that work, stress, and sometimes fun. You gotta leave soon for night school. Or not. So whaddaya do? You throw a cranky crabby bitch fest. Oops.

Its been a journey for me. I started with prayer. God is good.

And then I got a Worry Tree. Yep. I’m not actually crazy. You read it right. A Worry Tree. When I get off work or school and I’m in a crabby mood, I refuse to bring all that negative energy into my home. So I pass on all my crap to a Worry Tree. Just a plain ol’ tree. It’s been very good to me. I give it crap and it takes it.

Kinda like the tree in the story “The Giving Tree”. Good book.

http://oldpoetry.com/opoem/60911-Sheldon-Allan-Silverstein-The-Giving-Tree

Now, it’s all really very metaphorical and not literal. I know trees can’t take away my crap. But it’s a good thing to think about. I want to protect my home from myself. I want to protect myself from my negativity.

God and the Worry Tree. I thankyou.

And 5pm has gotten much better thankyouverymuch.

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Extreme Shopping. Or “I hit the freakin’ jackpot!”

So I’m really into this incredible way of shopping. It’s called Extreme Shopping.

Just incredible. Especially for two (married) students.

I just went on extreme shopping trip #2 today. I bought 2 Loreal foundations (15.50 each), 1 concealer (8.99), 1 blush (5.99) and paper towel 6pack (8.99). Ya ya I know… why am I buying all this makeup? It’s Kandee Johnson. I can’t help it. Don’t judge me.

Anyways, should have totaled over $55 and then tax.

But using my new-found extreme shopping skills, I paid (including tax) $24.77 for it all. Yep. I saved $21.75!!!

And don’t even get me started on my super huge extreme shopping trip #1. I only paid 50 cents for a whole wack of stuff – saving over $70!!!

My guru is Mrs. Smith. She is incredible. My local celebrity.

I highly recommend you check her out.

I’ve hit the jackpot. I wanna spread the love.

http://www.mrssmithextremeshopper.com/

 

Hugs, kisses, praises and firstborn babies are appreciated in return.

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Bravery looks good on you

Eff the jeans. Eff the sneakers. Eff the shirt.

I’m putting on bravery. And it looks damn good on me. (Thanks M for the inspiration!!!)

About two months ago, H and I realized how unhealthy we are, but how in love we are still in spite of it. Silence is a killer of lambs and of souls. Bad habits are comfortable. And deadly. Things need to be shaken up a little.

Change is a real B.

It’s like wearing clothes. I can choose to wear the usual daily throw-a-thon of jeans. sneakers. and a shirt. Pretty normal. Pretty safe. I wear those all the time. Every day.

So dang, how much harder is it to put on a skirt than jeans? Instead of complaining that I never get a chance to actually look good, why don ’t I dress it up a little? Stop the lazy. But it is hard. It’s exhausting – learning how to change.

I keep on wondering if I am the kind of girl who wears dresses and heels out to dinner. Am I, really? *NO* Have I ever been that hip, ever? *NO*

What would it take to be that kind of girl? I don’t know. A lot of work. It’s scary. I don’t think I’m that girl. Just yet.

Bam. That was it. I signed myself up right away to battle with the scary every Tuesday night. And be brave.

I’m choosing to let nothing bring me down. I’m a fighter, and I want to wear those heels with my head held high thankyouverymuch.

‘Cuz nothing looks quite so good on you as bravery.

 

 

p.s. This really has nothing to do with clothes, but everything to do with the heart.

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Speaking Truth. Yes Please.

There are very few, amazing things that make me come alive. Those things that make me tick. One of those amazing “life-ticking” things that makes me want to soar and fly is when someone speaks truth. A truth-speaker. I don’t know – I just love honesty. Some of the most awe-filled moments in my life happen when someone speaks truth deeply into my life.  And some people do it just-oh- so poetically to boot.

Like Meg @ http://apracticalwedding.com/. There have been some wonderful young ladies that are amazing… and have pondered the same kind of questions and have worried the same kind of worries regarding marrying when you’re too *young*poor*immature*in school*no house*no job*whatever excuse you wanna put next*too too too ______.

I’m so bad at verbalizing the deep values I hold in my heart sometimes. I don’t quite know what to say when a worry like that is asked by a woman. But thanks to Meg, this is how I will answer next time…

Oh, and the title of her post?

“F*ck the Economy. Get married Now!” (love it)

Q:  How do you know when you’re ready to get married? We decided that we would start actually planning the wedding once we were in a good life position. We wanted to wait until we had secure jobs and were in a good position to move in together. Unfortunately, things have not worked out well. How can you plan a future when you have no idea where your future is going?

We are so frustrated right now, because we just want to be married, and yet we know it’s the “smart” and “responsible” thing to wait until we know what’s going on in our lives. It seems silly to get married without knowing what our future is… but I can’t help but feel that no matter what happens, we know that we’re going to get married – should we let those uncertainties about the future dictate our plans? And is it stupid to get married if there’s a chance that we won’t be able to move in together for another six months or so?

Should we just be patient, or should we just go ahead and get hitched, disregarding what other people will think or say? Help!

Meg’s Answer: Ok lady. You know how they say that life is what happens while you’re busy making plans? That’s actually true. As you wait and wait for the perfect moment, life is happening. Right now. So a few thoughts:

First, there is no perfect moment, ever. If you’re waiting for everything to be ‘right,’ you could wait a long time. Second, the reason we get married is to tie our destiny to someone else. It’s to vow to be with them for better or for worst – to stay with them when they are unemployed, to figure out how to make do when things get really tough. That’s the power of the marriage vow. It’s saying, “Even though I have no idea what the future will hold, I want to tie my life to yours anyway.” When you’re ready to make the promise, you’re ready to get married. Period.

Sure. Maybe you wait till you can live together, maybe you work out some specific details. But you don’t wait and wait for something vague on the horizon. Maybe it takes your husband a year to find a job he likes. Fine. That’s a year you can spend married, supporting each other both literally and figuratively, or that’s a year you can spend apart, waiting. But it’s still going to take him the time it takes him to find a great job. Not getting married won’t change that. And trust me, supporting each other is something I know a little about.

Most of us here grew up during a prolonged economic boom. We got used to the idea that marriage was more about economic better than economic worse. We got used to the idea that you get a good job, you get everything lined up, and then you get married. But that’s not how life is anymore for many of us. We seem to have forgotten that when times get hard, that is the very best time to become a family. That is the very best time to combine forces and try to make it together. That’s what our grandparents did, and our great grandparents did. They took each other in worse, and worked together to create better.

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It reminds me how blessed I am to be married to my amazing husband, to combine forces and make things work together and loving each other no matter what – regardless of how young we were are, and how much little money we have.

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Marinating in my mind

Two verses have been really resonating with me during this season of my life:

“Unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labour in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain.” Psalm 127:1

“Be confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6

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Blog Addict

Don’t hate.

No judging please.

I have a few blogs I love to follow. 5 mainstream ones to be exact. I have a few others I dabble in but they give little substance or stability for me.

Though the content may be a little fluffy, and downright embarrassing at times, this is what I read.

Again: Don’t hate.

This blog I came across around the height of engagement – and the disgusting business of planning a wedding while trying to keep my sanity. Although Meg is a little feminist, she has core values which I love (hey, don’t get me wrong, glow need love too, regardless of what they believe vs. what I believe… sheesh). And I love her “EFF THE WEDDING INDUSTRY!” mantra. She talks a lot about what wife-dom is like… it rings true to me. I like it.

http://apracticalwedding.com/

Now this one, my friend A introduced me to (not the one in Japan). I love her writing style and I always come away with something to think about. I love her honesty. And she’s from Vancouver! *represent*

http://sarahkift.wordpress.com/

To be honest, I really like home improvement and home decorating. You can tell if you look at my book shelves in the living room. I hide the ugly books and put pretty pictures in front of them. And I display a lot of pretty things. I just like things pretty, okay. It doesn’t make me superficial or whatever thankyouverymuch. This blog is all about the home. They blog for a living. So I can get my blog fix daily. Ha!

http://www.younghouselove.com/

Lastly, sometimes (but not all the time), I’ll wander over to this blog below. It’s silly. Her humour is a lot like mine.

http://bowerpowerblog.com/

Last but not least, I follow this one. The one with most substance. The one that challenges my faith and makes me question my attitude and motives throughout the day. The one that talks about biblical womanhood. Yes. Please.

http://www.girltalkhome.com/

There. My virtual blogging world has come out of the closet.

What blogs do you follow? Do tell.

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