Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Eve

As a kid, Christmas Eve was something I could count on. Even if Dad was out of work, even if mom was sick or tired or us kids had been kinda bratty for the past few weeks; even if the weather sucked, and my parents got homesick, Christmas Eve always happened. And, until I was about 16, it always happened the same way.

We'd spend the day cleaning. Not because we'd been neglecting it in the weeks prior, but because my mother wanted a clean house on Christmas morning and with 3-6 kids there was only one way to get it without completely exhausting herself. So we'd have a nice Christmas Eve breakfast, usually at some ungodly hour of the morning because we were kids and even if it meant cleaning all day, we wanted Christmas to happen NOW. Then Mom would set us to work on our tasks in various parts of the house. I seemed to always get stuck with cleaning the bathroom. This year, I'm chuckling at that as I look at that very task on my own to do list.

Dad kept us motivated, of course, and spending all the energy he could get out of us with silly dances and voices while Bing Crosby or New Song or Casting Crowns poured out of our valiant 5-disk changer. Lunch was unmemorable, which means it was probably leftovers or sandwiches, something easy. Throughout the day one or the other of us kids would be called into the kitchen to help with various parts of dinner: Stuffing the turkey, glazing the ham, helping with those delicious sweet potato rolls, that sort of thing.

We'd watch movies, too, but not very many. Christmas Eve day was more about getting ready to make the magic happen that night.

It was also one day we didn't have to take a nap after lunch. My parents wanted us very tired, so we had a short "quiet time" after lunch that we usually used to wrap (or in my case, tape-encase) our presents and get them under the tree. In the earlier days we had big dogs and no Christmas tree, so presents went on the table. Then we were back in the main part of the house, hanging out and being admonished to clean up after ourselves. I think I even remember a few threats that our gifts would be given away if we didn't.

There were more silly voices and silly dances, even a few entirely made up songs like my dad's "Gotta Have Socks" song. Sometimes mom would tell us about what Christmas was like with her grandmother, or about the legend of a very good man named Saint Nicholas.

Then the dreaded nap caught up with us. I don't remember if I fought my parents on this one or not, but knowing me I probably did. In order for the Christmas Eve tradition to work properly, anyone "Under the age of 13" (I swear that number went up every year) had to take a two-hour nap at 7. As I got into my more stubborn years on this subject, my parents got me to cooperate by saying "You don't even have to sleep, just lay down and be quiet so your brothers will." They always won that way, because I was always more tired than I knew anyway.

As an adult, I long for those naps.

One or both of the parents would then come wake us up in two hours, and I'm sure I was the hardest one to wake up for a few years. They'd give us time to turn our brains back on and get hungry - sometimes we'd watch a movie or Dad would read something to us, I think most of the time we just talked and roughoused with each other.

Then came dinner. Sweet potato rolls and whatever else my mom could conjure up that year, at the table that had been pulled out into the middle of the living room, with the good tablecloth - I think it was my grandmother's - and Grandma's china serving dishes, and candles. I remember lots of candles, which is probably why I like them so much today.

After dinner, we had family communion. We heard the Christmas story from the bible, usually in my dad's baritone. Then we all prayed together, and passed around grape juice in a wine glass and some bread. It was a serious time of night, but a very important one. That tradition is one of the things that helped me understand the most that Christmas really is all about Jesus and other people, about thanking God for the gifts we have instead of complaining about what we don't have.

After communion, and a family a capella worship song, Bing Crosby came back on and we got to open up one present. Just one. Later that changed but in our best Christmases it was always just one, for just a taste of what was to come, jut to help keep us excited.

At midnight on Chrismtas Eve we all went to bed - in the same room. It was the one time a year I made peace with my little brothers and we all just got along for a while. We were forbidden to leave the room for the next six hours, the first and last hour of which were torture. Mom and Dad wrapped our presents and made conversation, cleverly in tones that even I couldn't quite make out from my lookout position - laying on the floor half in and half out of the bedroom, hoping to hear or see something interesting.

Eventually we all fell asleep, and like clockwork I was up somewhere between 5 and 5:30 the next morning. I remember just barely daring to peek out into the living room at our old-looking clock to see if it was time yet - and doing this just about every two minutes. Promptly at six I would tiptoe from the bedroom and into the livingroom (or wherever mom kept our stockings that year) to take a peek. As the other kids got older, and as there were more kids to look after on Christmas morning, I would take that precious time to quietly unpack my own stocking even though it was against the rules. I'd marvel at the little surprises my mom had for me, and take careful account of what was expected. There'd be hell to pay if one of those twerps stole my chocolate coins!

Then, I'd repack everything just as it was, sometimes with one less piece of chocolate, and I'd go wake up my brothers and sisters.

Stockings were my mom's way of buying time. We weren't allowed to open them until all of the kids were up, and we weren't allowed to wake mom up until we were finished, or 8, whichever came last. We'd have snacks in our stocking to tie us over, and we'd watch a Christmas movie, and it was all somehow part of the same magical night.

As an adult, Christmas eve looks a little different, but not much. Today I have a few last-minute things to pick up and wrap and give away. Then I'm cleaning my house and preparing the lamb for tonight's dinner. I'll probably take time for a glass or two of eggnog, and a few pieces of chocolate. Then we'll go to church, to the candlelight service, and enjoy the fact that we have such a wonderful church family and that we are all so very blessed. After that will come dinner, this year it's Simon and Garfunkel leg of lamb (parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme) with sweet potatoes and Christmas pastas. Then some more egg nog, and we'll watch The Grinch. When my mother in law goes home my husband and I will probably spend some time watching movies or playing a video game, until the wee hours of the morning when we decide to go to sleep. Then, it will be Christmas.

I'm looking forward to having kids; an army to help clean, and army to feed and watch them enjoy the Christmas memories we help create. But this year, I'm just so glad for what has been, and for what is today, and what will be can come in its own time. 

Merry Christmas everyone. 

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Two cents

First off: Tragedy is always tragedy. I am in no way saying that what the families have gone through isn't tragic, and I feel it's crucial that everyone know this ahead of time. Death is always tragic because of the loss it causes. As I've posted before, death wasn't part of the original plan. It's part of the cursed world we live in, and I'm looking forward to the day when it's a "part of life" that we don't have to worry about anymore. 

That said, I think the media circus surrounding the Sandy Hook tragedy is insane. That's right. Insane. 

Here's an idea: Instead of blaming the NRA, or guns, or teachers, or the government...instead of *blaming* at all, how about we look ahead and focus on doing our part to make sure this doesn't happen again. Whether the shooter in this case was chemically imbalanced or just hurting, the fact remains that we can lessen the tragedies in our world if we all stop being so gosh darned self absorbed. If we start being aware of the people around us, aware of their hearts and their spirits, and willing to reach out and help ease their pain - or prevent it in the first place - the world would be a whole lot less pain-filled. 

Here's the fact: only broken people do things like this. It's not because of guns, because of lack of control or too much control. I can say this with confidence because that same day in Bejing a man stabbed several "primary school" children and their teachers to death before he was apprehended by local authorities. Guns aren't the problem. People being forced to walk around carrying overwhelmingly painful burdens in their hearts are. They probably aren't bad people. They're hurting people. People who, for whatever reason, have wounds that just haven't healed right, and they've festered into a terrible infection that has no choice but to spread. They're broken people, sick people. People whose entire course that day probably could have been changed by something as simple as a smile, or someone asking if they were ok, or someone reaching out in some way to say "I notice you, you matter to me."

People don't shoot children because they want to shoot children. People shoot children because something in them has snapped. Because their humanity has been so overwhelmed by their pain that causing other pain seems to be the only course of action. 

So instead of pointing fingers outside, at the NRA, at the government, at the parents of the shooter, let's start pointing them inside. Decide to make a change in your world. Decide to impact and probably save a life.

How? It starts with being nice. Take a moment to say thank you to the girl at the cash register, stop for just a second and ask the angry-looking man if there's something you can do for him. Wish someone a Merry Christmas. Look people in the eye as you pass them on the street, smile broadly, and say hello. Start taking a genuine interest in others - and teach everyone around you to do the same. 

Will tragedies stop happening? No. But you just might save that cashier, or that guy in line behind you, or the kid at the bus stop, or someone who just happens to have crossed your path. You might just keep them from snapping and hurting themselves and others. Start being interested in others and looking for ways to make them feel awesome about themselves, and you just might be the one who makes their entire day that much better so they can face tomorrow. You just might ease their pain.

And isn't that worth it? Isn't it worth looking outside of yourself, and your shopping list, and your own world for just long enough to say "That's a lovely scarf"? If you knew it would save your life you'd do it. If you knew with certainty that it would save the life of your child, or their best friend, you'd do it. So let's just pretend that it will. Let's be the drop that starts the ripple so this stops getting so much worse year by year. 

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Roses remind me of you

Roses are considered romantic in a lot of situations. I think they're really quite amazing. Sure, they're beautiful and they smell lovely, and everybody wants some because they're super special. But there's so much more to a rose than that. That's why they remind me of you.

You see, I'm pretty much the opposite of a gardener. If there were an award for "most plants killed" I just might win it. I overwater, or underwater, or forget to take them in.

However, for the second time in my life I have found myself with a rather beautiful set of rose plants in my care. For some reason, roses don't *actually* take much maintenance. Pull the weeds sometimes, cut off the flowers so they'll grow more, and that's about it.

I'm sure some master gardener out there will disagree with me. But the fact is: I have yet to kill a rose plant. And that's really saying something!

Roses are sturdy. Yes, they're beautiful. They're a pleasure to look at - like you. But there's more to them. Rose tea is actually quite tasty and (I hear) good for the digestion. Roses can survive any kind of weather - from the scorching heat of two summers ago to the freezing ice storm last year brought us, with little sunlight or with lots of it. And even when they're a little messed up, when they're discolored or a little ripped or chewed, they always draw the eye. People want to hang out, if even for just a minute, around roses. Just, I might add, like you.

You may not realize it right now, but you are very much like the beautiful roses that have flourished in my care. You've gone through a period of neglect, where people may have stopped to admire your beauty but nobody really took care of you - something these roses have gone through for many years before I moved in. You may be going through some painful things right now, a process where parts of your life are being cut away - pruned, if you will. And I know that sometimes it can feel like life is beating you down like that ice storm beat these poor roses last winter. But the roses survived the neglect, and the pruning and the storm both did very good things for these roses and it will for you too.

The pruning took the old growth away so that new growth could come in. The old growth was beautiful! It was a gorgeous set of a few almost perfect-looking roses. But if I hadn't cut those flowers off, if I hadn't taken those beautiful petals off of the plant, they would have been the only roses that plant could produce all year. Instead, I pruned away the growth again and again until a plant that only had three roses had one final yield for the year of almost twenty!

You're in a time right now where some things are being pruned away. It hurts, because the things you're losing are things you were very attached to, beautiful and wonderful things you don't want to let go of. But God, the Master Gardener of our hearts, knows what he's doing better than I even know what to do with these roses. This time of pruning will eventually be something you'll be able to look back on as a reason you're flourishing so well.

The ice storm made these roses stronger. They wove themselves together, each branch of the plant leaning toward the other where they used to be growing apart and away from each other. Now, many of the parts of this plant are intertwined. Storms do that to people, too. The storms of life make us lean in toward each other and toward God, wrapping ourselves around the people who love and support us because we come to a realization that we can't do it on our own anymore.

Yes, you are very much like these roses: Beautiful, strong, but with so much more growing to do and so much more potential to realize. I'm looking forward to watching it happen.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The pondering inspired by a made-up bed.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words...

I probably haven't made my bed more than ten times - if that many - in the five years since I left my mother's house. I would say that averages about twice per year, but that's a lie. In the two and a half years I've been living with my husband, I think I've made the bed twice. Just twice. The other three times happened in the nine months I was with a control freak. The guy before that didn't care any more than I did.

In fact, I can't remember more than a dozen times in the 16 years I *WAS* living with my mom that I actually made my bed. From what I remember, it was about (but a little bit less than) once a year. The bed got made twice a year. Once, maybe, when my mom bribed or threatened me to do it ("If you don't make that bed, we'll leave you home when we go to dinner tonight!"). A second time when she opened my door to give me laundry.

"Laurana! When was the last time you cleaned this room? I can't even *see* the floor! That's it, I'm tired of it, you have thirty minutes, and then I'm coming in here with a garbage bag!"

Which was usually followed by about 30 seconds of cleaning and then 29 minutes of playing with whatever toy I'd found when I picked the first shirt up off the floor. Or, if I couldn't find a toy, several five-minute spurts of kind of cleaning broken up by five minute spurts of "I have to pee...I need a drink....I'm hungry..." I think you moms know this story.

Which meant mom came in with the garbage bag, and the bed got made that night.

But I didn't make it.

Nope, I think in the sixteen years of living with my mom, it's a very real possibility that I made my own bed less than once a year.

Who made the bed all those other times?

Well, with the exception of the times I bribed, tricked, or otherwise coerced one of my siblings to do it (that's what they're there for, right?) - probably mom. I'm sure she'll be sainted one day for raising me. I was certainly a pill.

That fact makes this show pretty impressive. Not only did I make my bed today, but I *cleaned the room*...without prompting. Well, almost. There were a few verbal nudges from my husband. He's also going to be sainted, just for having to live here. (haha)

But is that what people see when they look at this? Just looking at the picture, and trying to be detached about it, I think it kindof looks like nobody lives here. The bed's made up, but the walls are bare. There's no real signs of life - much less married life - in this room

Not that I'm encouraging you to post evidence of your married life as pertaining to the bedroom. Keep it where it belongs.

But I look at these pictures, which I took so I could share with you the story about how I never make my bed, and I wonder what other people will think when they look at them. People, maybe, who don't know me.

Which makes me wonder, what would people think if someone just took snapshots of my life on the days when my room isn't clean, and my bed isn't made? What would people think of my life if snapshots of the day to day were posted on the internet?

I'm on a mission to make sure whatever it is they think of me when they see those snapshots of my life is positive. I'm on a mission to make "No regrets" my testimony. To make sure that when my kids find my profile on an old site, that I'm not going to turn red explaining something to them, or having to say "oh, I was a kid, and I was dumb..."

I don't have kids yet, but - and forgive me if this sounds bad - the older my parents get, the more I realize that I need to plan now for when I do have kids. I need to start developing the habits that I want them to have, and getting rid of the ones that I don't want them to have. And that includes a lot of thinking, even about what I post on the internet.

You never know, when you post something, what other people are going to think about it. But you can sometimes guess.

If you post pictures of you with alcohol, people are going to think you're a drunk. If you post pictures of you scantily clad, they'll think you're a slut. If you post pictures of you helping a charity, they'll either think you're a nice gal - or that you're showing off.

You can't please everyone, and I'm not saying that you can or that you should try. But what will your kids think when they see that picture? Will they be embarrassed to be your kid, embarrassed to see what you just posted, ashamed and disappointed by your choices? Or will they be proud of you?

And probably more important: When your kids copy the way you live, will you be proud to say "I taught them that!" Or will you be ashamed of them?

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

I Pledge Allegiance

Today is voting day, and it has me thinking about patriotism. Why? Because I'm not voting.

Yeah, I know, 'NOT voting?'

So let me start with that. I'm not voting because I don't have all the information. I can't begin to understand the full ramifications of what Obama has already done in his time in office. I have my reasons for disliking both candidates, and I don't have enough information to feel that I can properly choose. And so, I would rather my vote be withheld then potentially contribute to standing in the way of what God may want to happen.

That's why I'm not voting. And I'm proud to live in a country where - even though people fought hard to secure my right to vote - I have a right to make the decision not to do so. No one is forcing me to do anything. I don't have to worry that as soon as I post this, some military group is going to be sent to my home to break down the door and force me to my local polling place. We live in an increasingly regulated America, but for now it's still free. And I'm proud of that.

Moving right along.

Some people have asked why I say the pledge the way I do. I say it proudly, back straight, voice firm. I believe in what I'm saying. Some people wonder about that. I'm not in the military or any political groups, I don't only buy American made products, so how can I say that I believe in what I'm saying when I say the pledge? Furthermore, how can a Christian confidently pledge allegiance to a country that is quickly moving away from its Christian moral base?

I'd like to say the answer is simple, but it's not.

I don't know about wars. I have no concept, no real comprehension, of what goes on in a war. Sure, I've read news articles and history books. But that's like reading about a million dollars - if you've never seen and experienced it yourself, you just don't fully understand what it is, and what it means. I don't know about congress or the senate or the judicial system - if I'm completely truthful, I'm like a lot of Americans in that I know practically nothing about America. I'm not proud of that, but I just don't know where to start, and I don't feel I have the time to dive in to learning yet. It is on my list though.

Not knowing as much as I do, I still know something with absolute certainty: This country was founded by Christians, with divine help. That's all I need to know right now. I say the pledge with respect and conviction because I am fully devoted to a country that *is* one nation, under God indivisible.

You see, there's a key there that people don't get because of the way those words were spaced out when we learned them. That's why people think it's OK to take God out of the pledge. They don't understand that this was written by a Christian, by a powerful person of God who knew that only under God's power could the United States truly stay indivisible, and only under God's guidance could they truly provide liberty and justice for all.

I pledge my allegiance to that country. To a country that stands firm on biblical principles, that asks God for help, to a country that prays. And though I may not be in the military, I fully believe that if I were called on, if I were needed, to stand in defense of a country under God, I would do so. Not because we are currently under God. But because I believe that God's promise to Abraham ("For the sake of ten righteous men I will not destroy this city") was a promise to all of us. Our country may not be a country under God right now, but there are more than ten righteous people in it, and that means there's hope. So if I were called on to defend our country, to defend our rights and freedoms as laid out in the constitution, to defend the ability of the righteous men I know to live in a country where the most persecution they will face is a nasty message on Facebook - then I will do so. That's why I say the pledge so resolutely.

I think, unlike many, that our country still has hope. I joked with everyone else at the last election: "If so and so wins, I'm moving to Canada."  But the truth of the matter is that I wouldn't. I really do love this country, even if we're a little screwed up right now. It's like loving your crazy grandma. I believe that we need some strong people to take charge in our government - and I do know enough to know that one president isn't going to be able to change anything. It's going to take time to repair what we've broken in the decades since the last world war. But I believe that we can, and I believe that I'm doing my part.

"But," you may say, "you're not a politician, or a lobbyist, or even an activist. YOU don't even vote! What are you doing?"

The only hope for our country is that generations X and Y get their heads on straight so we can teach generation Z and the generations thereafter how to fix what's been broken. Someone in my generation will almost definitely be elected to senate one day, quite a few of them in fact. And it's up to our generation and that of our parents to teach the people who will be in power how to do so. We can do that by teaching them to be faithful, honest, kind, and God-fearing.

So what am I doing? I'm involved with a group called Worldwide Dream Builders. They are the most patriotic people I have ever come into contact with. They are also the most Godly. They are teaching me, now, while I'm still five to ten years from having children, how to raise a family. They are teaching me how to be a better Christian, a better citizen, and a better patriot. They are teaching me how to secure my family's financial future so that I can spend time teaching my children the things they will need in order to positively influence their world. They are teaching me to be strong, and faithful, and honest, and kind, and God-fearing, and so much more - so that I can pass these things on to my children and grandchildren.

I say the pledge because I believe, through the influence of groups like Worldwide, that the generations my generation will raise are going to be able to fix this country and bring it back to where it's supposed to be - One nation, under God indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

Monday, October 1, 2012

You Are Made for More

 I just now finished Lisa Osteen Comes' book (not to be confused with Jim Cymbala's book, which I am now interested to read...maybe next month.)

I've been working on what I call "the Lisa Osteen book" for about three or four weeks now, though it hardly seems that long. It seems like this one was written just for me. Every chapter deals with a piece of my heart, a part of my life, that I needed help with. Whether it's fear, insecurity, jealousy, unforgiveness, or even just a crippling sense of "why me?" There's a lot of things that I've struggled with in my life, especially recently as I become more self-aware, and Lisa's book seems to address them all.

For those who don't know Lisa's story, definitely pick up this book. Her testimony is absolutely amazing and I think that even just knowing what she got through on faith will positively impact your life. As a brief summation:

At a young age she opened a mail bomb intended for her father. Although scarred, Lisa was mostly protected from the bomb in a way that even investigators and doctors consider to be miraculous. They still haven't found the person who sent that bomb, and for a long time she had to struggle against the fear that they'd try again. But she overcame.

Shortly after getting married to the man of her dreams he turned into someone she didn't know anymore, and then sent her back home to her parents and filed for divorce. She didn't want it, she fought against it, but it happened anyway. She had to overcome insecurities, had to learn to accept that sometimes things don't go as planned, and she had to learn to forgive herself and her ex husband for whatever it was that went wrong. God used her pain to help push her into a ministry position where she could help others who were going through divorce.

When she did find a new mate (several years of healing later) they discovered that she could not bear children and her heart was broken. But she and her husband placed her faith in God and nine months after the day they found out that Lisa was barren, she and her husband brought home an adorable set of twin girls. They were able to adopt the girls and help the teen mother who bore them because of the things they'd already been though, because they trusted God when all of their dreams seemed to be crumbling around them. They have since also adopted a little boy, and their family is as close-knit and loving as any blood-related family could hope to be.

With all that she's overcome, all that she's gone through, Lisa has learned to trust God to help her overcome - and her book is one of the tools she is able to make available to others who need to learn the same. It's truly amazing, and I know that my brief summary here doesn't begin to do it justice. This is a book I will return to again and again, knowing that I'll find something new and perfect for that time.

A few of the things that I've highlighted in this book:

  • "God will not just pick you up one day and put you into your destiny. You have to take steps toward it and know that God will direct those steps."
  • "You must do something, otherwise you will do nothing. Why should you sit in defeat with everyone else when God has a destiny for you to fulfill?"
  • "Healing begins when self-pity ends"
  • "A dream from God requires faith because dreams don't come to pass overnight...But whether we realize it or not, God is at work right now, today, in our lives. He's making things happen that we don't even realize - yet. See, *yet* is the key, because if there's one thing we can count on, it's that when God begins something, he will complete it. That's his promise. In fact, the bible tells us, God wants not only to complete things for us, but bring our lives to a flourishing finish. ... That means that no matter what's happening in your life right now, no matter what you've lost or what dream has died, it's not over."
  • "Fear pulls us down, traps us, paralyzes us, sinks us into inaction. We can get stuck in fear. ... [T]hat in-between place, that stuck place, is nowhere worth living. ... We're made for so much more than sitting around in fear. We're made to live boldly."

Already Dead (Five lessons before 10AM)

Today, as you may notice, is the first day of the month. It is also a Monday (the first day of the week, as far as I'm concerned). What you may not know is that it is also the first day of a new journal for me. I burned through the last one REALLY fast, and I'm kind of excited about that.

New journals are always an exciting idea for me. I look at each journal as a separate book in the story of my life. In reality they're more like chapters or subchapters, but each journal signifies to me that there's a brand new chance to start all over again and do it differently, to do it better.

I LOVE having a new journal.

So today being the first of the month, a Monday, AND the beginning of a new journal struck me as a sign: Today was the perfect day to start a new habit.

Lesson number one: Laura, dear, stop taking everything so seriously. Some coincidences are just coincidences.

Lesson number two: No day is the perfect day to start a new habit and for that reason, every day is. Starting a new habit is hard, it takes a lot of going against what your subconscious has already been programmed to do, and that takes a lot of self discipline. And, let's face it Laura, you're not so great at self discipline just yet.

Nevertheless, I went to bed with this brilliant idea of starting a new habit in the morning, on the perfect day to start a new habit. There are many habits I want to develop but I decided to start with what I was pretty sure would be the easiest one: Exercise. I have, after all, only had my gym membership since June. It's about time I used it.

So this morning I dragged my sleepy butt out of bed at the absolutely ungodly hour of six AM and got myself into the gym - a bit later than I had hoped. It turns out when you drag your sleepy self out of bed at six AM it takes about half an hour before you're capable of leaving the house. Then another fifteen minutes to the gym. So at 6:45 I was FINALLY on the elliptical.

I'm convinced that some day they'll have a magic pill for weight loss and historians will wonder why we ever put ourselves on these torture devices.

I took the half-hour opportunity while on the elliptical to read my bible. After all, what else is there to do for a half hour when the gym music sucks and the news is the only thing on TV? Yeah, I'm still working on the whole discipline and priorities thing, but I'm getting better.

As it turns out, the elliptical is actually the perfect place for me to read my bible! I hadn't realized that my previous better-than-nothing-but-still-not-awesome habit only took 8 minutes to complete. Not much room for any real bible time in 8 minutes.

As soon as my half hour was over I raced home, took the fastest (and coldest) shower I've taken in a long time, and hurried to get ready. I was running a little bit late. Actually, a lot late. Fortunately, I tend to be half an hour to an hour early for work most days, so late didn't really matter.

Lesson number three: Adding a half-hour habit to your day means that you have to sacrifice a half hour of something else. Probably sleep.

I finally got out the door *just* in time to make it to work on time and - reminding myself to be calm - popped in a motivational CD for the drive. After all, if I'm going to spend a half hour in the car, why not make the most of it? (see, I'm getting better.)

About halfway there, I realized something dreadful. I was driving our Spectra because Dearest needed the Prius today for his running around, and the Prius key was still in my purse, which was right next to me in the car. And I had *just* seen that 167 northbound (the road I'd have to take to get home) was stopped up because of a multi-car collision.

I was going to be very late.

Lesson number four: Accountability goes a long way. I'm usually quite early to work, so my bosses thought little of it when I called and explained what happened, apologized, and told them I'd be late.

Lesson number five: No matter how wrong your day goes, your response to it really is your choice. This has been a hard lesson for me, one I've failed at and had to repeat many times. Today, I could have been very frustrated. I had every right to be. I tried to do a good thing and it screwed with my entire morning, ultimately contributing to me being late to work. However, it is in these times that I've been taught to talk to myself. Self-talk can be an awesome tool. The odd part is what I was saying to myself:

It's all right, I'm already dead.

Before you start worrying, this is an affirmation that my husband actually uses for himself when his anxiety starts to spike and it's biblically based. Sort of. The place he gets this affirmation from is where it talks about not worrying so much about what other people think about us because we've died to our old selves. We're not tied to the world in the same way anymore, we're not the same people we used to be, those old selves are dead.

It's all right, I'm already dead.

The first time my husband told me about this affirmation it was a little weird for me. Many of you know that he had some serious health challenges last year and it was a really hard time for us - a time during which is most frequent statement was "I just want to be dead." So you can understand how I would be taken back a little by an affirmation stating that you ARE dead! But I tried it today. Stuck in traffic and very, very late for work, I made a choice. I loosened my deathgrip on the steering wheel, leaned back in my seat instead of forward , and said "You know what, it's all right. I'm already dead anyway."

To my amazement, it worked. The tension slowly left my body! So I tried it again, and again, feeling lighter and more at peace each time. By the time I was home to give my husband his car key I was relaxed and only regretted that I couldn't curl up in bed with him and take a nap. I finally got to work (not as late as I thought I would be after all, though still late) and was able to actually smile. Sure, I've had a hectic morning. But what does it matter anyway? What's the point of getting upset that it didn't go the way I wanted it to if I'm already dead?

I think sometimes, when we decide to do good things that we haven't been doing before, life (or the devil, depending on how much credit you want to give that jerk) will throw stuff in our way. It's like Newton's first law of physics: A body in motion tends to stay in motion and a body at rest tends to stay at rest.

Change is hard, it's hard on our minds and hard on our bodies and sometimes even hard on our spirits - even if the change will benefit us in the long run. Developing a new habit takes rearranging your schedule a little bit, probably sacrificing some sleep or some free time for at least a while until you get things figured out. It requires things like dragging yourself out of bed when your whole body is crying out for just a little more sleep. "Five more minutes!"

But the difficulty, how hard you have to work for that new habit, is part of the point. It it was easy, everyone would do it. Things that are good for you tend to be difficult to pull off, to follow through on, to even start in the first place. It's getting through that difficult part, telling yourself whatever you have to tell yourself to get up and get dressed and get out there, or keeping yourself calm when the new habit throws your day a little bit - it's responding to that difficult part the right way that makes the difference. That's what makes the victory worthwhile.

So here I am, ten in the morning (well, ten thirty by now), five life lessons richer, violating every story-writing rule my grammar teachers taught me, and feeling pretty good about myself. Because today my morning was hard, but I got through it, and I did the right thing anyway. And one of these days, when I'm down to my ideal size and full of lean muscle, I'll be able to look back and say "It was a Monday, and the first of the month, and the first day of a new journal, and because I decided to do the right thing that day, that's what started it all."

Friday, September 21, 2012

Accountability and pumpkin lattes (my day)

This is the first image that came up under a google images search for 'accountability.' Interestingly appropriate, but not entirely accurate. You see, accountability isn't always about others. Sometimes, it's just about you.

Webster's defines accountability as the quality of being accountable, and accountable as capable of being accounted for or subject to giving an account. In these definitions, the word accountable can also be exchanged for answerable or explainable.

Put in layman's terms, accountability is the quality of being honest. Your yes is yes, your no is no, when you say you're going to be somewhere or do something, you can be *counted on.* In the past, the accountable people have been the ones society could rely on as "good at their word." If they said they'd do it, if they shook hands with you, there wasn't a way in hell you'd find it undone.

Personal accountability is the idea that you don't need someone else to hold you to your word. You don't need someone looking over your shoulder or checking your work to make sure you're doing what you said you'd do. You said you'd do it, and the person who's going to lose the most respect for you if you don't do it is you, and so you're darned well going to do it - not for anyone else, just for you. Personal accountability is what gets you up at six in the morning and into the gym even when you're the only one who will care whether that happens or not - and in that moment you don't actually care much.

In the past, I have had a problem with personal accountability.

Oh, sure, if someone else is depending on me to do something, to be somewhere, I'll darned right follow through. I hate being even the slightest bit late for something, or unable to attend something altogether, for whatever reason, that someone else was expecting me to be at. Especially if I was supposed to play some even minorly important role. No matter how sick I am, I tend to do my best to show up for the people who are counting on me.

However, when it's me counting on me it tends to turn into a whole different story. There's the complaining "Oh, I really don't feel well today. My tummy is a little bit queasy." Then there's the reasoning "Well, it's not like I'd really be letting anyone down if I don't go to the gym." Then there's the bargaining "Five more minutes, then we'll go."

By the way, yes, I do talk about myself in the plural form when talking to myself.

Then comes acceptance. "Okay, we're not going to go. That's cool, we'll go tomorrow." After that comes the plunge overboard "Well, I might as well have some of this cake. I didn't work out today so it's not like I'm cancelling anything out." And then, THEN comes guilt. Way too late. "Gosh, I'm such a horrible person. I ate that whole cake, and I slept in for six whole hours today. Do you know how much we could have gotten done in six hours? A LOT! And I didn't even go to the gym, so that cake is just going to sit on top of my already way too big fat rolls and ...." on and on and on until I pick a fight with my husband because I'm feeling so drattedly terrible over not making right decisions myself.

At least, this has been the pattern in the past. I've been getting better. I don't guilt trip forever. "Well, I feel bad now but it's done with. We'll do better tomorrow." After that I was able to get better about how far overboard I went; "You've already had one piece of cake sweetheart, you don't need two. It was a delicious piece of cake but two is just being greedy." Then I started taking care of going overboard at all! "Well, that cake does look good but don't you want to fit into a smaller dress for the Christmas parties? Have a protein bar, or some goldfish crackers instead. You didn't even go to the gym, so just let it be." And now I'm working on the acceptance. "Come on, there's still time. It's a 24-hour gym, you can go now if you want to. You know you want to. Come on, you'll feel better. Remember the Christmas dress? Please? Pretty please?"

Yes, I beg myself, and repremand myself, in third person. It's weird inside my head. Be grateful you don't live here. I have to be a little crazy just to cope.

Anyway, so I'm making progress. I'm doing better about realizing that I'm the most important person to be accountable to, I'm the person who deserves my accountability the most. After all, if I can't count on myself, who can honestly expect to be able to count on me?

Okay, so there's still a little bit of codependency there, but I AM getting better. That's the point. Mainly. I think.

I bet I know what you're thinking. You want to know what pumpkin spice lattes and accountability have in common, right? They don't seem to be related, do they? Well, they are.

Today, I've had two.

"Two lattes," you say, rightfully confused. "But Laura, weren't you just telling us that you were better at having control?"

Yes, yes I did. And it's true. I've had two lattes today for a very specific reason. You see, having a latte is usually a great way to meet people. Good people, who have goals and dreams and ambitions, tend to also want lattes. So today, in a determined attempt to find one of these people with goals and dreams and ambitions, I had two lattes.

It was a process. I started off in the morning, at the starbucks where I met one such person just yesterday. I ordered myself a venti. Technically it wasn't a latte. It technically was a mocha with pumpkin in it. I like them better that way. I looked around the busy starbucks and saw...

Well, a whole lot of not impressive. No smiles, no interesting books, no ways to start a conversation, everyone was tightly enclosed in their own little worlds.

No problem, I thought, not the least bit conquered. I'll get around this! I'll go let them know there are other worlds out here, exciting ones! And then they won't have to look so gloomy over their little world being the only one they can see!

So I stated the obvious. The weather can be a fantastic conversation starter sometimes, even when not everyone considers it fantastic weather. Dearest was just commenting the other day on how talking about the weather is a subconscious way of determining with the other person what the parameters of your conversation are going to be, and if you can recognize this, you can use it to make excellent conversation.

Well, today the morning crowd at the starbucks were not talkers. My conversation options ended quickly and I went outside to enjoy my coffee and my book alone.

Not entirely deterred, I was not about to give up! I went to my gym (regrettably not to work out, there was an accounting issue that needed fixing). From there I ran a few errands, looking the whole time for some good people with goals and dreams and ambitions who would want to have a conversation. I found a few, but they were already drunk and buying more beer at the local convenience store, so I decided against asking them to go to coffee with me for a longer chat.

A little disheartened, I went home. I made dinner, did some chores, and then headed out for a few more errands. These errands were with people I already knew, at their homes, so there wasn't much chance to make new friends.

But then, on my way home, my accountability kicked in. I had told myself that I was going to make a new friend today, someone with dreams and goals and ambitions. I hadn't done that yet, and there were still starbucks shops open. It was late, not many people are out and still sober at 8:40 on a Friday night, but some of them had to be out there somewhere, and I was willing to bet they'd be at the nearest Starbucks!

Except then I got lost. Sometimes, life throws you a curveball, or maybe God just has other things in mind. I got myself very lost. It started with taking the wrong part of the exit into Southcenter, and somehow I ended up on West Valley Highway. And then, the next thing that looked even remotely familiar was the "welcome to Kent" sign. Too bad it was on the wrong side of Kent and nothing else looked like anything I'd ever seen before.

Then I found it, the one street I actually know in that part of Kent, 212th! This happens to be the street my grocery store is on and I knew that if I just followed it in the right direction long enough, I'd find my way home!

But there, in the opposite direction from the right direction, was another starbucks. It was closed, except in the drive through, and I normally don't consider the drive through of any establishment to be a good place to meet ambitious, goal-minded, dreaming people. But for some reason I decided that tonight, maybe, I just might.

Well, I didn't. But God had other plans. When I was talking to the young man in the drive through he seemed distressed, like life just wasn't going his way today and he was doing his best to just get done with work so he could go home and go to sleep and maybe in the morning all the crap would have gone away. I asked him if there was anything I could pray for him about, and he told me no, but I think he meant that he just didn't want to tell me what it was. So tonight, with my second latte in hand, I drove home thinking about how interesting it is that God can use my desire for greater personal accountability to put me in the path of a boy who really needs someone to pray for him. I will pray for him tonight, even though I don't know what to pray for, because there's really no other reason I can think of for me to have so beautifully botched an attempt to get to a Starbucks and make a friend.

So that's the story of my day, and how my recent decision to be more accountable to myself led me on a  little adventure.

The moral of the story: Sometimes you don't accomplish what you set out to accomplish. But if you stay accountable to yourself and give it your very best shot, you'll usually end up accomplishing something pretty cool.

Monday, September 3, 2012

It's Been a While

Honestly, it hasn't felt like there's been much to say recently. But, I haven't blogged since July so here's what's been going on

July 22: My birthday 

This wasn't my cake, but I sorta wish it were. 

My birthday was pretty good, as far as birthdays go. On the actual day we went to a cool restaurant on our way home from a business conference in Portland. A few days later we went to the local Irish pub for some great food with a bunch of friends. I've had a total of (maybe) 4 sips of alcohol since then. Sips, not shots. It's mostly a curiosity thing for me: "Hey, what does that one taste like? Let me have a sip."

In any case, it was a mellow and very fun birthday. Next year, I plan to throw a party that's just a bit bigger, with more people and more laughter and maybe even a little more cake.


Mostly full of meetings for both businesses, August was still pretty exciting. There are some pretty amazing products coming out this month that I got a chance to hear about in August and I am super excited.

This month:

Obviously this month isn't very far on yet, but it's already been awesome. I went to a family party a few days ago, spent yesterday bumming it around, and have had a pretty slow day at the office.

So that's it for the events, but this doesn't make a good post. Let's talk about a few other things. For example:

The Mocha Cookie Crumble Frappuccino. This beauty is amazing. I've had way too many of them in the past few months, because they're just so darned delicious!

Chocolate, coffee, milk, ice, more chocolate, chocolate chips, and chocolate whipped cream with chocolate cookie crumbs. YUM!!

This has quickly become my favorite drink. I find myself agonizing over what I'm going to have all the way through the line (really, you'd think with a Starbucks on every corner that the lines would be shorter...but I guess that's why there are so many of them here). Then, I get up to the front of the line and the only decision that I actually have to make is what size. Because when it all comes down to it, this 500-calorie cup of deliciousness is the perfect indulgence.

Now if only it didn't have calories.

This baby. Isn't it gorgeous? This is a brand new black Lamborghini.

No, it's not mine. I wish though. Lamborghinis are the only cars I get excited about. The reason is stupid: I love that the doors open up. Ever since I saw the Lamborghini in Back to the Future, I have adored these sexy vehicles. Plus, all cars look better in black.

I'm not usually a car buff but I think this one's my dream car.

I'm really looking forward to having tons of disposable income so I can buy funky awesome jewelry like this. I love frogs and these are just so adorkable. And these rings are awesome. Not sure when I'd wear them, but I *would* wear them as often as I could find an excuse for it.

So there's the randomness for today. Hope you all are having a great week, and I'll be back as soon as I finish the books I'm reading right now.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

The Chick-Fil-A controversy.

Hi! I'm Laura. I'm energetic, I love people, I take a copious amount of sugar with my morning coffee, and I think the vast majority of people are seriously overreacting to this chick-fil-a thing.

For those who don't know, the President and COO of Chick-Fil-A recently was interviewed by the baptist press about what he believes. As near as I can tell, they were just excited to have such a successful person who is helping so many people affiliate himself with the Baptist denomination (I think after all of the recent Westboro debacles, they're desperate for someone to point to and say "Look, not all Baptists are this way!").

In this interview, he happened to mention that he, and most if not all of the other people in charge of the Chick-Fil-A company are against same-sex marriage.

This, the last statement of the interview as shared by the Baptist Press, is what everyone's so upset about. Heaven forbid society take a second to focus on the good things, like how cool it is that the company isn't open on Sunday or the neat fact that they make more money (and thus pay more in rent) working six days a week than anyone else who would occupy the buildings they're in does in seven, or even the awesome PR gold nugget that is the way they've stimulated the economy around them by making so much money and putting it to good works. Nevermind the research they've done, the fact that the people in charge of this company are some of the only corporate executives IN THE WORLD who are still happily married to their fist wives, or the jobs they've provided. No, society says. Let's instead focus on their one little controversial statement, the one where they say that they believe gay marriage is against the principles outlined in the bible.

I've got news for you, society, it is. But so is hating people, any people, for any reason. So you should be happy. Because a person who is willing to publicly admit that he believes gay marriage is unbiblical is also likely to have someone else arrested for harassing you in one of his stores for being gay. He's also more likely than people who don't believe that the bible is against gay marriage to stop you on the street if you look sad and ask what he can pray for you about. He's more likely than most of the people protesting his stores to genuinely care about you, your well being, and your right to choose.


Well, because all of that's in the bible too. "Love your neighbor as yourself" covers it all. And if that wasn't enough, "Love covers a multitude of sins," and "It is not the healthy who need a doctor but the sick," and Jesus' decision to hang out around a prostitute despite God's obvious and repeatedly demonstrated special dislike for sexual sins (read the old testament), and Paul saying "There is, therefore, now no condemnation..." should be adequate enough evidence for you.

Bible based Christians believe that homosexuality is wrong. But we'll love your socks off anyway because you're a person regardless of what your sexual preferences are and we love people.

Let me re-say this one more time: As Christians, it is IN OUR NATURE to love. We cannot call ourselves Christians and hate someone at the same time, and I'm sorry that some people do. I'm sorry that some people are hypocrites and they use their beliefs as an excuse to hurt you. But Christians who believe in the Bible and actively seek God like this man does are not going to hurt you. They will love you, they will help you if you need it, they will defend your safety, they will pray fervently for you, and they will teach their children to do the same.

And, just in case that wasn't clear enough: I'm a Christian. I believe that the Bible does speak very plainly about homosexuality. I have several friends who are very dear to me who - for whatever reason I can't pretend to understand, be it choice or nature - are gay. I love them to pieces, I believe they're great people. If I found out they needed help with anything, I would do everything in my power to help them. I go out of my way to cheer them up when they're sad about something. I would do the same for any of my straight friends. They're people. They're generally good people. I don't have to agree with their choices in order to love them and think they're awesome people and want to spend time with them.

So instead of creating such a big stink about that last little statement in this article, let's applaud the executives of Chick-Fil-A. Because, seriously, big corporate executives almost never stay married to their fist wives. Let's realize just how much of an amazing accomplishment that is, for the men and for their wives. Let's point out how much of a testament it is to the strength of the people involved that they're still married despite the inevitable stress associated with being one of the people who runs a company. And let's all stand up, give them a handshake and a hearty pat on the back, and move on with our lives.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Awesome things about life

Those kisses where you smush your nose into the other person's face because you're just so dang excited to be kissing them.


As I mentioned before, we're fasting this week.

Our church is being moved in some awesome directions. The pastor's new son-in-law, Moses, is taking over leadership of the previously poorly organized connect groups (otherwise known as cell groups or home groups) and uniting them under a common purpose, lesson plan, and set of guidelines. Our pastor's oldest son, Caleb (yes, I know, Moses and Caleb. It's hilarious!) is getting more organized and aggressive with his training of the youth and young adult groups; working under the belief that trials don't just come to the Christians in their 30s, and neither do the opportunities to reach into someone else's life and make a difference.

Two of the major outreach programs in our church, Serve1 and Won by One, are going full force, bringing the gospel into places it doesn't normally go here in the Northwest and encouraging everyone to just reach one person a year. If each person in our church were to reach one person every year for Jesus, within 8 years the Northwest would go from the most unchurched region of the united states to the most faith-filled.

Pastor's getting pretty deep in his messages lately, too. Even Sunday mornings, which tend to be a bit watered down for the sake of newcomers and new Christians, have been hard-hitting and focused on deep concepts. Several times he's stopped mid-sentence and said "They're telling me we're out of time, so let me close with this."

All of that to say that something awesome is happening in our church and in response to the obvious outpouring Pastor has called for a week of churchwide prayer and fasting to usher in a time of spiritual breakthrough. According to the veterans in our church he has never done anything like this before, it's quite unprecedented in his 30 years as pastor, but I think everyone is excited about it anyway. At least, everyone who's participating in the fasting and prayer is. I can't speak for anyone who doesn't feel led to participate.

Dearest and I, for some reason that is still beyond my understanding, felt led to participate.

Now, here's one of the times when I look up at the heavens and go "really, God? Really? I certainly hope I can see the point of all this when it's over!" My first fast ever, and we feel led to make it a "complete fast" - meaning that we don't eat anything. We're drinking gatorade and one protein shake every day, a glass of milk before bed so we can fall asleep, and that's it. No food, no meal replacement shakes or bars or pills, no candy, nothing solid, nothing that can actually satisfy the hunger of an entire day. As a dear, trusted, wise friend of ours told us on Sunday "It's about getting hungry enough to remember to pray."

This is all going jolly well for Dearest. He feels better right now than he has in ages, to hear him say it. He's focused, emotionally and mentally uncluttered, physically rested and at ease. He's even lost a whole 7 pounds!

I, on the other hand, have been feeling...well...let's just say not good. My body isn't taking to this no-food idea very well, objecting only at the end of the day when I'm home from the long and emotionally draining (those few encounters with people can be terribly negative) day at work. I walk in the door and within five minutes, WHAMO! Attitude problems, stomach cramps, and a general "woe is me" feeling about the whole deal.

Which, I might add, I feel rather ridiculous for in the morning. Especially considering that we're only now beginning the 3rd day of this.

This morning, though, I did experience something interesting that I think may be in correlation with the whole fasting thing. I was sitting in dead-stopped traffic, and not even worried or upset at all.

Those who know me well know that this doesn't happen. I have a thinly veiled version of road rage that comes out in snarky and sarcastic comments aimed at other drivers who I know can't hear me.

I don't like being late, I don't like being stopped when I want to be moving, and I don't like not having any idea why there's a problem. But today, quite uncharacteristically, I wasn't worried. Sure, I was about 45 minutes behind my usual schedule. Sure, I'd been almost hit several times while people tried to escape the deadlock. Sure, I'd sat behind the same four cars at the same intersection in the exact same spot for five whole light cycles. But for some reason, none of it bothered me. I had this peace, this sense of "Okay, whatever, I've got time. This is no big deal. And if I'm late, then I'm late. Oh well."

If more peace in life is what I get out of fasting then I think that's worth going hungry. I certainly spend too much time freaking out about things that don't warrant a freak out.

I have decided that I'm going to go through with the whole 7 days for a few reasons. For starters I feel like I need to prove to myself that I can do it, that I don't quit everything I start, that I don't give up when it gets difficult, that I can handle a little bit of pain even though I don't know what the benefit is because with something like this there will be benefit.

 It's only 7 days, after all, and there's only 4 and a half left in any case. I just need to stop thinking about it as "Oh my gosh, 7 whole days!" and take it a day at a time. Maybe that's another reason God wants me to do this, maybe he's trying to teach me that "tomorrow has enough worries of its own" lesson. In any case, I realized yesterday that if I just make it through today, I'll have gone three days. Then, one more isn't a big deal so I can go four. After that I'm more than halfway done with the week. If I can go for four days without food then there's no reason I can't just stick it out for three more.

I think if I live this way, this day-by-day way, a lot of the things in my life that I can't seem to balance out and make work will just fall into place. I'll realize - at a level deep enough to get me to actually do something about it - that it really does make more sense for me to just fold the laundry now, just do the dishes as I cook, just pick up the messes as they happen; and I'll end up developing all those habits that I'm so frustrated with myself for not having right now.

So maybe there's more benefits to this fast than I can realize, because I'm just not there yet. And sure, it's frustrating to just not be there yet. But for some reason, today I don't mind.

Plus, I've decided that I'm having Panda Express for dinner on Monday, so that's something to look forward to in those moments when I just can't see the benefit enough to want to stick it out.

Hello, Sweetie

In case you didn't already know, today's post title is inspired by the amazing, fierce, beautiful, fictional woman of the week: River Song. Otherwise known as Melody Pond, famous for saying "Hello, Sweetie!" and "Spoilers." The Doctor's wife and the only one in all the universes so far besides The Doctor who knows his real name. She's stuck with him the longest, even though they were travelling in opposite directions on the timeline and she barely ever got to see him. She watched him die - in fact, she was the killer! But she couldn't help that bit, it was a subconscious suggestion that had been reinforced repeatedly throughout her entire life.

Anyway, River Song is my fictional woman of the week. She's strong and spunky and independent and dangerous and fun and oh so clever; and somehow never lets that get in the way of her total adoration for and trust in her beloved Doctor. She never loses faith in him, not even for a second, not even when she's the most frightened she's ever been, not even when she's staring her own death in the face. Fictional or not, I admire River Song. In fact, if I could choose a fictional character to become real and be my older sister, she'd probably be it. Amy Pond would be my twin. Hopefully identical, because then I'd get that beautiful red hair.

In other subjects:

> I've been asked to make something I've never made before. The person referred to it as a "turtle costume" for newborns, she wants to gift it to a friend of hers. The pattern looks simple enough, and I'm sure I could do it, I just need to figure out how much I would need to charge for it. Neat stuff, though.

Ironically enough, it's not anybody I've ever met in my entire life. Ever. Go figure, with all the people I've met, that the one person who would appreciate my ability to crochet and give me a challenging project to work on - that they'll actually pay me for - is an utter stranger. In any case I'm pretty excited, just have to figure out where I'm going to set my price.

> This week is my first full week working and boy, am I intimidated!

The job is actually pretty easy. Sit in the office and watch Dr Who until someone comes in, help the person with what they want, then sit back down and watch more Dr Who. The hard part is that most of the systems and protocols and whatnot are stuck inside my boss' head. My boss is on vacation. I did write a basic manual a few weeks ago, which he appreciated so much that he promptly forgot I had written it, printed it up, and handed it to me saying "I just found this on the computer, it looks pretty decent but I had completely forgotten about writing it. Look it over and tell me if you have any questions."

My answer was, "Just one question: What do you think of it? Did I do a good job, or is there something missing?"

> We're fasting this week, which I've decided to to an entirely separate post on, since my feelings and experiences on the subject thus far are so dratted complicated.

> Life, as of late, has been busy. I'm learning how to keep my house clean, learning how to not be so focused on the wrong things, learning how to live a normal life - well, sort of. We are, after all, very not normal. This month is turning out to be super busy, but that's pretty much the way I like it anyway.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Stole this from a teenager on Tumblr. But what the heck, I'm bored.

  • 1: Real (first) Name? 
  • Lauralanathalasa. I'm named after an elf, which is easier for people to understand than when I say "It's elfish". In any case, I'm the only one I know with my name. :D
  • 2: Current crush!?
  • My husband :D Other women talk about celebrities "AHMAGAHD, Bobby Flay! I would have his babies. He's my exception" Not me. I'm more in the "Meh, he's okay looking but I really prefer my husband" category.
  • 3: Addiction?
  • Oh, lots of things. Attention, cuddles, Netflix, chocolate, adorable clothing, starbucks, and so much more.
  • 4: How tall am I? 
  • 5'7" ....I think.... Recently it's been feeling more and more cramped in the leg area of our cars, even with the seat all the way back.
  • 5: Relationship status?
  • Married - usually quite happily. 
  • 6: Girls I trust?
  • Those who have earned it. 
  • 7: Boys I trust?
  • Again, those who have earned it. Bear with me, I stole this from a highschooler.
  • Where did #8 go?
  • 9: Current mood?
  • Mostly sleepy but still feeling pretty good. Just got back from a workout, so I can't fall asleep right now, and I want to be still enough to be able to fall asleep soon, so I'm not doing housework. But nevertheless, I feel good.
  • 10: When was the last time I did something for the 1st time?
  • I tried squid for the first time a few weeks ago. It was gross. 
  • 11: Confession;
  • Squid is very gross.
  • Really, though, I'm pretty afraid of new things, to the point where I'll not try them so that I don't have to fail or be disappointed. 
  • 12: Who I miss?
  • Lots of people in Indiana
  • 13: Who I last hugged?
  • My husband.
  • 14: Who understands me?
  • My husband
  • 15: Someone who is always there for me:
  • ...My stuffed froggy. (lol) and my husband.
  • 16: Last Text?
  • "Life would be so much easier if God would just text me" (pastor's kid said that.)
  • 17: Who’s a stranger:
  • You are! 
  • Cryptic and slightly dumb questions deserve dumb and silly answers :)
  • 18: Who makes me laugh the most?
  • my husband
  • 19: Who I do the craziest stuff with?
  • My husband
  • 20: Who makes me smile?
  • My husband. And most small children
  • 21: What am i listening to?
  • Married with Children playing in the background
  • 22: Turn on’s?
  • Men who know how to be real men....y'kno, my husband. :D
  • 23: Turn offs?
  • Super bad breath, super bad lines and catch phrases, general wussiness.
  • 24. Bestfriends?
  • At the moment, Dearest is really my closest and only friend. That will change later.
  • Missing #25 as well
  • 26: Second confess?
  • Another one!? Sheesh, what do you people want from me?
  • I can't bring myself to feel as bad as I think I ought to about the way our relationship started. Just can't do it. I'm more excited and proud that I won and I get to keep him. 
  • 27: What I hate?
  • that ice cream makes me fat.
  • 28: Who’s annoying?
    My husband (lol)
  • 29: Favorite Sex position?
  • Classified information, not sharing that one.
  • 30: Last person to give you butterflies?
  • The good kind? My husband. The bad kind? The creep who came into the office today.