Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Happy Birthday to me!

Okay, so my birthday's not until November, but I've already bought myself a gift. I'm going to New York! I booked my tickets last night, I'll be in New York for my 35th (Yikes!) birthday. I can't wait.
Let me explain how this came about. . .

Last week, after much soul searching, I gave my notice at the Early Head Start job that I have been working at for a year. I decided that it wasn't a good fit and I better do something about it now, before it's too late. And by too late, I mean before I bought a condo and would therefore have to stay in a job that I knew I was not happy at just to pay my mortgage. So, I put the condo hunt on hold, bit the bullet and decided to go back to job searching.

"If you reach for something and find out it's the wrong thing, you change your program and move on."
~ Hazel Scott

I know it's not going to be easy, it took me forever to find that job, so I know it might be a while before I find another. In the meantime, I am planning to put in more hours at Starbucks in order to get by financially. I also want to spend some time working on me, doing things that are important to me; volunteering, spending time with family, spending time with friends that I miss dearly, going to yoga, finding that perfect job (or a rich man. I'd settle for a rich man), writing in my blog more often :-), travelling, just to name a few. I need to spend time figuring me out before I can land that dream job.

"If one is out of touch with oneself, then one cannot touch others."
~ Anne Morrow Lindbergh

So, as I was watching a touching segment last week detailing the memorial that was created at Ground Zero, I made the decision. I decided that what I needed was a trip. A trip to New York. So, then and there, I decided that for my birthday I would go to New York. I put it out there to see if any friends or family wanted to join me, nobody could, so I'll be going solo and I couldn't be more excited. My first trip to New York was by myself and it was the best trip I had ever been on, so going by myself doesn't bother me in the slightest. (That doesn't mean that I wouldn't still loveit if someone wanted to join me.) I found an insanely good round trip ticket price and booked my flight last night. And I've already begun compling my "things to do when back in NYC" list. . .
Anyway, time to go find a hotel and get to bed. More on my trip as it gets closer.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The end of summer is coming. . .

I know, I know, I'm a little late with my latest entry.
I didn't have a good idea in my head of what to write at the end of July. So, I decided to let it go and not make my self-imposed deadline. But since that day, I've been thinking about what I should have or could have written about and it occurred to me that summer is almost over. It's already August 9th. Back to school sales are in full swing. After that sunk in, I realized that I have not fully enjoyed my summer at all. I am on day 20-something of what will be at least 34 straight days in a row of working. That got me thinking about what I haven't done yet & that I need to do in order to feel like I've truly enjoyed summer.
Of course, that meant the creation of a list. A list which I am going to share with you. Below are all of the things that I intend to do in order to fulfill my summer fun requirements.

In no particular order, I need to:

~ Go to a Cubs game (that is actually happening tomorrow!)
~ Get a pedicure
~ Eat a red, white and blue bomb pop from the ice cream truck
~ Go to the Farmer's market
~ Go to the Lakefront
~ Go to the Flea Market
~ Take a trip (camping with the family Labor Day weekend will have to do for this one.)
~ Play in the water (sprinkler, pool or rain) with my nieces and nephews
~ Take a day off to just enjoy the day!

What do you like to do that lets you know it's summertime? Are any of these things on your list?

Leisure is being allowed to do nothing.
~G.K. Chesterton

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Kids Making a Difference

I completely forgot that I had another blog entry due today. However, on my way home from work tonight, I remebered an idea that I had a while ago. And when I sat down to my computer tonight and realized that I hadn't even thought about a blog entry, I thought this would be the perfect way to introduce my idea to the world (or at least to the two of you who read my blog).
I've been trying to think of more ways to make a difference in the world and a while ago, I thought it would be a good idea to create an organization that gets kids involved in doing good. I never gave it much thought. . . but, like I said, on my way home tonight I thought about it again. I had initially thought of creating a non-profit to do this, but really, why not just start a club. I have plenty of relatives and friends with kids who are old enough to volunteer.
So, I am officially announcing the start of my kids making a difference club (name has not yet been determined). If you have children or grandchildren who you think might want to join the club, you will likely be receiving an email from me within the next week or two. If you know of anyone who you think might be interested, feel free to email me or add a comment to this blog entry. I haven't quite figured out all of the logisitics. . .
I will be working out the details soon. In the meantime, feel free to email or comment to this blog with ideas or questions or suggestions about this idea. You will be hearing more about this soon!
Goodnight and Happy Birthday to my brothers!

How can we expect our children to know and experience the joy of giving unless we teach them that the greater pleasure in life lies in the art of giving rather than receiving.

~ James Cash Penny

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Baby Victor

The past week and a half or so has been a complete emotional roller coaster. I have had some very high highs and some very low lows. Most of those are a topic for another time (or perhaps not worth talking about at all).

But by far, my biggest high came in the form of an 8lb. 12oz. beautiful baby boy named, Victor. My new nephew made his world debut on May 23rd. He is absolutely priceless.
I had the pleasure of spending a great deal of time with my sister, brother-in-law and nephew of the past week. I am in awe of how wonderfully they are all doing. My sister and brother-in-law are such naturals at parenthood - it's beautiful to watch them with their son.

To add to my list from last month, Victor (and his parents) make me happy.

Welcome to the world, baby Victor. I can't wait to see what great things you will accomplish in your life. I am proud to be your Auntie.

A new baby is like the beginning of all things - wonder, hope, a dream of possibilities.

~ Eda J. Le Shan

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Things that make me smile

I have admittedly been kinda crabby lately. I've been working a lot - haven't had a day off in about a month, I've gained weight, haven't exercised as much as I should and on and on. . . And after writing last month's post, I feel like I should just get over myself because I know that it can always be worse. So, to snap myself out of this funk, I decided that this post should be about the things that make me happy or that I'm thankful for. And because lists make me happy, I'm going to this in the form of a list. :-)
In no particular order:
~ I am happy that my next day off is coming soon and I have nothing planned for it!
~ I am happy that it is almost May and hopefully that means warm weather is on it's way! (technically it is May already, but since I haven't gone to bed yet, I am still considering it April - therefore my blog entry won't be late.)
~ I am thankful that I have two wonderful parents who mean the world to me and would do anything for me - even if we do drive each other nuts sometimes.
~ I am thankful that my sister is no longer too cool for her big sister and has grown into a wonderful woman who I consider one of my dearest friends.
~ I am excited that my sister will give birth to a new nephew for me to spoil in less than a month. I can't wait to meet him!
~ I am thankful that I have some of the most wonderful friends that anyone could ever ask for. And even though we may not see each other as often as we'd like, I know that I can still count on them whenever I need them.
~ I am thankful for my entire (although often crazy) family.
~ My DVR makes me happy!
~ I am happy that my search for a condo is really underway. It is a slow process, but the right condo is out there. I know it.

~ Office supplies make me happy.
~ I am thankful for my warm, cozy bed.
~ I am thankful that for the most part I am in good health.
~ The color orange and the color pink make me happy.
~ I happy that it is baseball season.
~ Books make me happy.

I am happy and thankful for so many things. This is just a small sampling of what makes me smile.

What makes you smile?

“For every minute you are angry you lose sixty seconds of happiness.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

It could always be worse.

People always say, "It could always be worse." You never really think about it and it never really makes you feel better. However, I've had a some instances in the last couple of weeks where I've seen that really, it can be worse. About two weeks ago I dropped my iPod Touch on the concrete stoop on my way out the door. It had a case on it, but it fell on the screen, where there wasn't really any protection. Needless to say, the screen completely cracked. It took everything in me not to cry. Yes, I know it's just an iPod, but I loved it and I knew it wasn't cheap. About two hours later, I went back home to find a number for Apple. When I got home, my dad informed me that there was a fire at my brother's house - the same brother that lost his wife to leukemia two years ago. Nobody was injured, but the house was pretty bad. Well, there you go - it really can always be worse. My cracked iPod hardly seemed significant anymore. My parents went out to my brother's house that night to help/offer support/feed them. Luckily for them, they had really good insurance and were quickly set up at a hotel while things got sorted out. So, a couple days later I went to replace my iPod, which I had found out was going to cost a pretty large sum of money. I figured it was allowable for me to feel sorry for myself again. I replaced the iPod and immediately went to a kiosk to by a more protective cover. Of course, I had to share my story of woe with the clerk at the kiosk. She was appropriately sympathetic and very sweet. She even shared with me a story that happened to her recently. She had an envelope with $1,200 cash stolen from her. . . There it is again, It can always be worse. So, next time I'm having my own little pity party, I'll remember that the saying is absolutely true; It can always be worse.

See how many are better off than you are, but consider how many are worse.

~Lucius Annaeus Seneca

Monday, February 28, 2011

Nails in the Fence

One of my ideas for this blog is to share inspiring stories or emails that I've heard or read. And because I'm a procrastinator and it's almost March and I haven't written February's blog. I'm going to cheat a little and share with you an email that I've actually gotten a few times, so you all have probably read it too. But that's ok, because I think it's a lesson worth hearing more than once.
I think we all need to think about the way that we treat others. I am a firm believer that the kind of energy that you put out there is the kind of energy that will come back to you. I think I heard Oprah say something like that once and I completely agree with her on that.

Anyway, here's the story.
It's called, Nails in the Fence.

There once was a little boy who had a bad temper. His Father gave him a bag of nails and told him that every time he lost his temper, he must hammer a nail into the back of the fence.
The first day the boy had driven 37 nails into the fence. Over the next
few weeks, as he learned to control his anger, the number of nails hammered daily gradually dwindled down. He discovered it was easier to hold his temper than to drive those nails into the fence. Finally the day came when the boy didn't lose his temper at all.
He told his father about it and the father suggested that the boy now pull out one nail for each day that he was able to hold his temper.
The days passed and the young boy was finally able to tell his father that all the nails were gone.
The father took his son by the hand and led him to the fence. He said, 'You have done well, my son, but look at the holes in the fence. The fence will never be the same. When you say things in anger, they leave a scar just like this one. You can put a knife in a man and draw it out. But It won't matter how many times you say I'm sorry, the wound will still be there. A verbal wound is as bad as a physical one.
Remember that friends are very rare jewels, indeed. They make you smile and encourage you to succeed. They lend an ear, they share words of praise and they always want to open their hearts to us.'

“People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
~ Maya Angelou

Monday, January 31, 2011

I'm baaack. . .

One of my New Year's resolutions is to write at least one blog entry per month. Yikes! January 31st - nothing like waiting till the last minute. I figured I'd use this entry to update you, my two faithful readers, about what has been happening since last July.
First, an update on my super-niece. Over the summer, she ended up having not one, but two hot dog/lemonade stands to benefit Bright Hope. She was able to raise over $400 at the two events. She brought the money to her 2nd Experience Tour where she helped introduce the great work of Bright Hope to our family. I'm telling you, she is gonna change the world, just you watch!

Speaking of Bright Hope, I've been doing a lot of work with them lately. I even made it into their newsletter. I have been helping out with the Experience Tours - making phone calls, helping at the tours. Meetings have started up for the Run For Hungry Children again where I am the Marketing Coordinator. I also created a fundraising page for the Run. And, just a couple weeks ago, Makila and I gathered some family and friends to participate in Bright Hope's Hope For Haiti event. All together, the event packed 213,840 meals. That's enough to feed 587 kids for a year. Amazing!

Besides all of my volunteer work, I got a new job! It's at an Early Head Start program working with low-income families in Des Plaines. It is a home based program. This means that once a week I visit my families at their homes and help them find resources and work with them and their children.
My new job is only Monday-Thursday, so I'm still working at Starbucks on the weekends. You can see how this resolution may be difficult to keep. Two jobs, lots of volunteering and still trying to have even a tiny social life. We'll see. 1 down, 11 more to go!

"If you want to be successful, be excellent. If you want to be the best the world has to offer, offer the world your best."

~ Oprah Winfrey