Thursday, June 28, 2012

Thankful Thursday: Just Like the Movies

Okay. I admit it. I am definitely one of those girls who really gets into silly, romantic movies. You know, the kind where the people are absolutely perfect for each other, they go through some struggle or major catastrophe that keeps them apart, and then end up together at the end, complete with that hollywood kiss. Is it just me, or do you sometimes find yourself almost walking in that lead character's shoes, feeling all of her emotions, including the heartache and then the ultimate elation when she gets her man? Noooo... It can't be just me. I mean, there's a reason these movies make so much money, after all. They suck you in. They make you believe.

Well, all of that is just hollywood. Great locations with beautiful views, witty screenwriting, great background music to set the mood. Real life doesn't exactly come with mood music and a script. So, it isn't quite as glamorous. But still, I've always kind of had my head in the clouds. There has always been a part of me that really believed love could be just like it is in the movies. Specifically the part where you meet that one perfect person. Maybe even have a real moment or two. You know, the kind where you look into each other's eyes and feel that connection when you first meet. The kind when you suddenly just know that this is the one person you were made for. Ahhh... true hollywood romanticism at its greatest.

I'm obviously just a big, old romantic at heart. Always been that way really. But I lost sight of that for a good long time. I ended up in a place where romance was something I became uncomfortable with. Sure, I could still live vicariously through those sappy movies and a great love story I read. But I didn't believe in it anymore. Not for any practical purposes anyway. It became make-believe. Fiction. A delightful little fantasy that I knew I would never really experience...

And then I met someone. That one person who is so incredibly perfect for me. The one who makes me smile and laugh. Someone who actually shows me just how much he loves me every single day. He just so happens to match my humor and sarcasm to a tee. Heck, sometimes he even outsmarts me in the wise-ass department! :) When I look into his eyes, I know we'll have a happy life together. No doubts. Just like in the movies.

It took a while for me to get comfortable in this new situation. I mean, it was too good to be true, so I really didn't buy it at first. He actually had to do a lot of convincing for me to come around. For pete's sake, I was so unaccustomed to romance that  I even let out a huge, nervous chuckle the first time he told me he loved me. (I know...poor guy! And don't be mad I told, Eric. I'm just trying to be completely honest here. Lol)

But now, I'm back. The mushy, romantic, I-believe-in-love kind of girl with a few stars in her eyes and hearts swirling around her head. Well, you can't actually see the hearts, but I'm pretty sure they're there. :) And I realize something... I was right all along! Amazing, movie-type romances really can happen! You really can get lost in someone's eyes and fall head-over-heels in love. I always knew it. Now I wonder why I ever doubted it. I'm thankful every single day that I found someone who proved me right and got my head back up in those clouds. :)

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

What should I try this stuff on next?

I just wanted to share something with you all today: I think I'm in love with this Primer!  Zinsser Bulls Eye 123 Primer is just short of amazing. I bought this stuff on Sunday morning, used it on aluminum can lids, wood & plastic. And it worked great! I couldn't be more happy with the results. It went on smooth and covered all the surfaces and materials I tried it on. I was able to get so many projects done and now I can't wait to try it out on more stuff! If you need a primer for your paint jobs, give this stuff a try. Here's another hint: A facebook friend also said it can be tinted! Might have to give that a try soon. Hope you all have a fun, productive day!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Thankful Thursday: The Little Things

Sometimes, when you quit rushing and trying to accomplish everything on your list of things to do, you realize that life is full of wonderful little pleasures. Last night I stepped outside and walked around to my front yard. I couldn't help but notice how the bright evening sunlight was perfect, shining golden rays through and around the tree, with the neighbor's barns in the background, cows grazing in the pasture. I had taken a short break from working on some projects, which I've really been feeling the pressure to complete lately. On A Whim has its very first show next month and, of course, I want everything to be just perfect, so I'm freaking out a little on the inside. And the Fair, for which I have some big responsibilities, follows right on the heels of that. Reason number 2 for extra stress.

But last night I was also fighting off a headache. So I decided to get a little fresh air in between painting a few smaller pieces. And I'm so glad I did. I'm no photographer, but I think I have a pretty decent eye for things that look good. And, boy, it was perfect timing to walk outside when I did. 

It sort of took my breath away when I looked across the road and saw so many beautiful elements together. A picture-perfect moment indeed. And that doesn't happen everyday. Or... does it?

I think maybe it could, if we took the time to look at the world around us. It gets difficult sometimes to, shall we say, stop and smell the roses. But, friends, that exactly what we should be doing. I think we all need some beauty, some renewing of the human soul. All it takes sometimes it something small. Something gorgeous, whether that be words, images, music. There's much out there to behold. We only need to look and listen every now and again.

Friday, June 15, 2012

I'd Better Get Cracking!

The above pics are from my garage, a quarter of which (at least) has been overcome by antique furniture, pieces/parts to repurpose, old doors, frames, you name it! Theses 2 pictures don't even span the whole area! Man alive I've got a lot of projects to work on! :)

I hope to be able to work on them this weekend. But that might be nearly impossible. First, I'll have my kids with me for the most part (although I may have a few moments on Father's Day to work alone) and, when I start working on a project, they always want to help. I say "help" loosely because they're still a little young to be operating the palm sander or wielding a paint brush on an antique desk. :) Just last night I made the statement that I "should do something productive." My daughter's reply was, "I want to help you produce too." lol. Well, I did get a little bit of painting done without their help, so at least I can say I "produced" something. :)

I'm also going to have a few visitors this weekend. But, the good thing is, they actually can help with a few things. I plan on putting them both to work! (Eric and Gavin, that means you!) But, the work is going to have to fit in somewhere between the library carnival and Ball's ice cream and possibly swimming at Stoney Lake. Not to mention we all actually have to eat three meals tomorrow, too. My kids generally require that! :)

The catch is, we're on a deadline. We have a booth at the Lowell Riverwalk Festival on July 13th. We all know how deadlines creep up on us. And it is summer, after all, so my days are completely getting away from me as it is! Oh good gracious, I may be in trouble! I need to create more inventory. Quickly! Does anyone want to volunteer their time to a worthy cause? :)

I'm writing today to remind myself to breathe. Because when I walked in my garage this morning and saw all of this stuff, I realized I need to get crackin'! Time is running out. So I started to feel a little overwhelmed and got a little fidgety, maybe there was a bit of hyper-ventilating going on. I can't quite remember so maybe I even passed out! lol. Now that I'm at work and don't have any of those projects with me, I thought I'd take a moment to write a little and settle down. When I get home tonight, now that's another story entirely. That under-the-gun fidgetiness may just return... Wish me luck!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Thankful Thursday: A Compasssionate Heart

Going through my daughter's school papers last Sunday, I found this note...

I shared this pic on facebook already. But when I sat down to figure out what to write on my Thankful Thursday blog today, this little piece of writing was one of the first things that came to mind. How can I not be thankful, after all, for a little girl who has such an affectionate heart?

My kids often tell me how they miss their Grandma. I hear it from my 4 year old son, who probably has very minimal memories of my mom, and from my 6 year old daughter, who will sometimes be teary-eyed when thinking about how she can't see her anymore. We drove past a cemetery this past winter and Keara broke into tears because it made her think of Grandma.

When this happens, I say what I can, knowing that I have done the same a few times. It's a difficult concept for children to understand. It's a difficult concept for adults to understand, really. I think we can understand death all too well. But the tricky part to fully grasp is what happens after death. I'm one of those people who like tangibles. Life after death is, obviously, not one of those. It's something you have to take on faith. Not my strongest suit.

But, no matter how tough a concept all of that is, I can be thankful that my children have good memories of my mother, whether it be Keara's memories of things she did with her Grandma or Chris's memories that are more a feeling of love from and for her instead of specific things that happened. It makes me genuinely content to feel like I've raised my children to have tender hearts. Gentleness, regard for others, tenderness and empathy are some of the qualities I admire most about people. They can sometimes make your heart a little easier to bruise. But I'll take a bruised heart over a hard heart any day.  

Thursday, June 7, 2012

A List a Mile Long

It's already Thankful Thursday again here on my blog. Just where does the time go? It sure seems to get away from me these days. So much to do and not enough time in the day to take care of it all. I bet you all understand where I'm coming from, now don't you? :)

I've been thinking a lot this morning of what I wanted to write about today. But, you know what? I can't seem to pinpont any one specific thing. Maybe it's a product of having too much on my mind and my plate to focus on any one thing. Or maybe it's just because there are so many things to be thankful for. But, whatever the reason, I've decided not to choose one but, rather, to make a big, fat list of things that make me smile. If there's one thing I'm always thankful for, it's having things to smile about. These things totally do it for me...

Driving down backroads, windows down, music up, fresh air blowing in. Beautifully sad songs. Catchy fun songs. Dancing when no one's watching. Dancing around with my kids (especially when they copy my moves, because it's super-hilarious). An unexpected compliment. The way my son is curious about absolutely everything right now. That my daughter tells me I'm the best mom ever. When my boyfriend says something that completely catches me off guard. Sinful Colors nail polish in Be Happy on my toenails. Tank top weather. Days at the pool. That I can wear a swimming suit and not feel so self-conscious anymore. Feeling respected. Love, unconditional. Bidding on auction items and winning something for a steal. That my car is still getting me where I need to go. Drinking coffee on the deck at 6am with the sun up. Wearing aqua eyeshadow. Wearing no make-up at all when I feel like it. That my son will, out of the blue, tell me he likes spending time with me. A long soak in the tub. Sitting on my deck at twilight with Adele playing in the background. Singers who write their own music. Losing track of time with a good book. A great nap every now and then. A new hairstyle. Writing a blog. The wired-up, crazy moods I sometimes find myself in. Giggling, hysterically, about nothing. Good memories of people you miss. Morning cuddles with my kids. Getting a ton of stuff accomplished before 9am. Loud Belches. Finding awesome stuff at barn sales and flea markets. Wildflowers. Having kids that love to read and create things. Poetry. Being in love. Fingers running through my hair.

There's really plenty more things that make me feel all warm and fuzzy on the inside. I think I could go on and on. But it's your turn now. What makes you smile? Do you appreciate those things as often as you should? How about you make your own mile long list today. I guarantee it will give you a better outlook, if nothing else. Surely can't hurt to give it a try. :) 

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

If you're lucky enough...

Keara, my 6 year old daughter, is going to the zoo today on a field trip. Looks like a fantastic day for a trip to the zoo. They're saying sunny and warm for the weather. Couldn't be better. Or could it?

I was reading a friend's post on facebook about how her daughter said she had a perfect day, partly because her mom got to come to her school picnic. I didn't make it to Keara's picnic. And I'm not going to be able to make it to the zoo either...

I wish I could go with her. I really do. In my stead, her Nana is going, so she'll have a ton of fun anyway. But I miss not being able to do all of her school activities with her. Maybe it's because my mom was always there for my parties and field trips, but I feel guilty somehow when I can't go. I only made it to one trip this year for her and didn't make it on Chris's trip to the farm. Nana went to that one, too.

I know it's not the end of the world. And I know I'm not the only parent who can't make it to every special event. But, still, I have the guilties this morning. The truth is, even though my boss wouldn't have a problem with me missing work for the trip, I really need to work the hours. Being the only source of income in my house, I need to put in the hours in order to provide for us all. But that doesn't make me feel any better about missing out...

So if you're lucky enough to be able to make it to most of your children's school events, be thankful. I know sometimes there is a lot going on, especially at the end of the school year, and it seems like you have a very full plate with the running here and there on different trips, but enjoy it if you can. It really is a privilege to share these moments with your kiddos. And one they will surely remember as well. And if you can't make it, try not to get the guilties. After all, we're all just doing the best we can when it comes to this thing called life. :)

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Whatever! (For All Those Things We Cannot Change)

So many times I hear people giving the advice that if you don't like something, change it. It's good, sound advice. I myself have done just that, many-a-time. But let's face it: there are a lot of factors and situations in life that we simply don't have much control over. Or so little control over them that we barely make a dent in their outcomes.  It's those situations, predicaments, dilemmas, messes, whatever you want to call them, that I'd like to address now. 

I don't know about everyone else, but sometimes it seems I'm dealing with so much stuff that I literally feel like I'm blowing in the wind. Drifting, if you will, through the days. Praying or hoping to just get through until it's time for bed, time to shut down and not have to worry about another thing, if only for a few short hours. Those things I can't change, those are the ones that make me want to simply shut my eyes and not wake up for a good, long time.

Even though I'd like to crawl in a hole and hide sometimes (wouldn't that be so easy every now and again?), I'm not a depressed person. No, not at all. Am I sometimes a little down in the dumps? Sure. It's hard not to be during those times when you feel like you have a million pounds of junk sitting on your shoulders, weighing you down until you're about knee-deep in a pile of dump! But, I usually pull myself back out pretty easily. And, do you want to know how? A good old healthy dose of the Whatevers. That's how!

For some people, it might be giving it to God. For others, it might be letting it go. However you slice it, everyone needs to have their own personal way of saying whatever, because we cannot change everything. We certainly can't change what other people say or do. We can't change the fact that the check was not in the mail like it was promised. (Believe me, I know a little about that one!)  We cannot always make our own children do what they are supposed to or act how we would like. (Yep, I know a little about that one, too!) Those outside forces that are beyond our control tend to be the most frustrating because they are, well, beyond our control. If we could control them, they wouldn't really be much of a problem at all, would they? :) Sometimes they're big; sometimes they're small. But either way, they're just plain annoying.

So, when I start to feel like something beyond my control is dragging me down into the Pit of Despair (yes, I love The Princess Bride!), I try to find an inner peace, if you will, by simply saying to myself, whatever! Because, in my mind, that about sums it up. If someone wants to be a jerk and say mean things... whatever. If I'm late to a meeting because I had to pull over and let my car cool down for awhile... whatever. If my child wants to have a really loud screaming fit in Meijer... whatever! If I can't pay my phone bill exactly on time because my renter didn't send his check to me when it was due... whatever! So what if my payment is a few days late anyway? It really isn't the end of the world, now is it? Nope. It sure is not!

Please don't think I advocate a careless attitude toward things. On the contrary, I'm a highly responsible person. I sincerely love having my bills paid on time, my kids well-behaved at the store and prompt arrivals at meetings and events. I do everything I can, everything in my power, to make these things happen. But when things get beyond my control, then it's time to say whatever. We all need to find the serenity to accept those things that we cannot change. Life is full of them, and they'll make us crazy if we let them. Find what tactic works for you and, when outside forces are trying your patience, take a big ol' healthy swig of it! :) It's the best thing you can do for yourself (and probably your blood pressure too!)
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