Monday, June 24, 2013

The Bigger The Better

It's me again.  So soon, you say?  Yep.  When the writing juices are flowing you've just got to do it.  You may have noticed that I changed my template.  It was time.  I like to change things up a bit.  I'm just having a little trouble with the predominance of pink.  Otherwise I like it.  Free form watercolor.  Good for now.

It's summer and I have changed a few things up.  I bought a new couch.  It's a sectional.  Brown leather.  It feels like butter.  So comfortable.  And we all fit on it.  Scott, Gracie, Sweet Pea, Bailey and me.  With room to spare.  I loved the look of this couch in the store and I love it even more in my living room.   But I need to be honest.  The furniture is bigger than I thought it would be.  I am usually so good at visualizing.  Really.  It's like a gift.  Or should I say it was a gift.  I sort of made this piece of furniture smaller in my mind.  To fit in my small living room, of course.

Anyway, we're loving every minute of it.  And then we saw Nate Berkus on t.v. the other day.  I love his design tips.  I had even caught a few of his shows before his daytime spot was cancelled.  Well, Nate suggested to viewers that they decompress first thing when they get home.  He said to sit down and put your feet up, even for ten minutes, it is the best gift you can give yourself.  Scott and I looked at each other.  Telepathically we communicated. Yep, hardly a word was spoken and we were off.  To the furniture store.

Our lives will not be complete until we do this, is what we said.  We marched into the store and we were on a mission.  To find the ottoman that matches our mammoth couch.  So we can put our feet up and decompress.  Every day.

So, Scott picked up the ottoman today.  It's big.  It matches the couch.  Scott says that our couch reaches into next week.  And now we have a matching ottoman that has its own zip code!

Be Sweet

Yesterday in church we had a visiting pastor.  He said he feels that anger has consumed much of our time.  Anger has become more and more prevalent.  We read about it in the papers.  We watch news stories about people focusing on the negative and getting angry about it.  I get it.

I have wasted time in my life.  I have been angry for sure.  It's a normal human response.  It shouldn't be taken away.  It has a purpose.  I think it goes back to the survival instincts we have.  If something isn't right, or fair, we will occasionally respond with anger.  This lights a fire within us to make a change.

The unhealthy type of anger is the kind that consumes our every waking moment.  The kind that causes road rage.  The kind that causes people to say mean and rude things to others.  The not cool kind.  This is the kind that makes you see red and act in ways that are inappropriate.  It's the kind of anger that gets feelings hurt and people killed.

I have had times of frustration.  My plan to clean the house, my plan to meet up with friends and it doesn't go the way I want it to.  This is a set up for disappointment.  But there are some key factors in what I just said.  Here they are..."my plan" and "the way I want it to."  I do have control over how I plan things and how I want things to go.  It's like working a math equation.  If I add the same two numbers over and over the outcome will always be the same.  The problem with the I and my statements that I just made is that I didn't factor in any outside influence.  Or any other people.  So really why would I expect the result to change?

Top this with the fact that behavioral scientists have shown that it takes more effort to be angry than it does to be happy, kind and accepting.  I have chosen in life to be the former.  I save my energy for being pleasant.  For being kind.  For helping others.

I hold doors, smiling, I'll let someone with only three items to buy go ahead of me in the grocery store line.  These are small things.  They are practice.  For me.  I will still be strong and have my own opinions, but I will see others' perspectives, too.  I aspire to be more laid back and calm.  So I can carry on.  And save my times of frustration and anger when they can be thought out and used to make a positive change.

So along with simplifying my life, I have made a conscious decision to try to always be calm and well intentioned.  It's something I can control.  It is good for my health.  And for those around me.  It's just easier to be sweet.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

She Dreamed It

Scott and I decided before Gracie was born that we would try to never tell her she couldn't do things.  Don't worry. We would never let her touch something hot or let her play in traffic. We wanted her to feel like she could be and do anything her heart desired. We wanted to be encouraging parents.

It started when she was small. Newly verbal, she began by saying, "I do it." Like when she was just over a year old.  She said this over and over.  And she did do it. She walked. She ran. She jumped.  And she flipped.  And then, at seven, she broke her arm.  And even that didn't stop her.  She got her black belt in karate.  She became a strong swimmer.  She jumped off the high dive.

She has gone to camps and on trips all over the country (courtesy of Grandma and Papa). She has met new people. She has volunteered. She tries new crafts. This she gets from her artistic Grandma. She googled a recipe on the night of our anniversary and prepared a four star restaurant-worthy meal for us.  She snaps photos. Like her dad. And she has a great eye. It's genetic.

She loves people. And she loves to talk and laugh. And make other people laugh. Like her mom. And her aunt. She is supportive and takes risks. She has a can do attitude that I wish I could bottle. She has been supportive beyond her thirteen years. She has helped me in difficult times. She was sunshine to her dad through his battle with cancer. She is her Papa's favorite nurse.

She is athletic. She plays hard. She runs. She lifts weights. She takes good care of her body.  Especially her back. She has scoliosis and has been paying special attention to strengthening muscles around her spine.

Last year she made me a bookmark. I think that it sums up how simple her motto in life is. It says, "she dreamed she could, so she did." Definitely words to live and dream by.