Wednesday, November 14, 2012

It's better than the alternative. . .

I say this every time I start a blog entry after a long span of not writing, but I really do intend to write more. I have decided to put less pressure on myself to create the blog that I originally intended. Instead I am content to let it be what it is and I will write when the mood strikes me and about whatever I happen to find interesting enough to write about.

Today is my birthday. I must admit that I am not all that thrilled about adding another year onto my age. However, I am reminded of what my mother always says, "It's better than the alternative." She is absolutely right. My life may not be what I envisioned it to be, but I am alive and I have SO MANY things to be thankful for. We all know people that are no longer with us, that died way too young. They never got a chance to celebrate their next birthday - whatever age that may have been for them. So bring it on! I will grow old with gratitude. I joke that I am getting old, but really, I'm OK with it. It certainly is better than the alternative!

Old age is not so bad when you consider the alternatives.
~ Maurice Chevalier
Anyway, enough of that. Let me fill you in on the last several months. . .

I am going to start with the thing that I am most proud of. I decided to lose some of the excess weight that I had been carrying around for far too long. I started in January and by mid June I hit my goal weight. I lost a total of 45 pounds. The best way to show you the difference, is to look at my last two Halloween pictures:

last year

this year
It's kinda hard to see, but you get the idea.

I celebrated two weddings with family and friends.

My cousin, Johanna got married.
Johanna & Steve
One of my best friends got married. I was honored to be a part of their wedding party!
Me & Kerri
I began a new tradition with my nieces and nephews. Beginning this year and starting on their fifth birthdays (for the younger ones) I am planning surprise "dates" with them. I will choose the activity and they get to choose the lunch or dinner restaurant. So far, I have taken my niece, Makila and my niece, Faith on dates. Super fun! My nephew, Anthony whose birthday was yesterday is going on a date with me next week.                                                   
Me & Makila at yoga on her
"birthday date."

Me & Faith at Beadniks on her "birthday date."

 I celebrated Halloween with my family at our 2nd annual family Halloween party.

I am once again helping out at Bright Hope. This time they are tackling a huge project. Bright Hope is partnering with 100 families to help build a village in Haiti. This picture was from the first event that they had with all of the families. We were able to Skype live with the two pastors in Haiti that we are working with. It was an amazing night!
If you are interested in helping out, you can join the program. You can also buy a "well share" from me to help build a well for the village of Beganabe. Send me a message if you'd like to buy a "well share" or click here. Then click on the link that says, "Own a Well Share."
The first JELLY event - Skype-ing with Haiti!
I also started venturing out of my comfort zone some more - trying to get involved in things. I figure this is a good way to help me towards many of my goals - good networking/job searching opportunities, also potential way to meet Mr. Right. . .
One of the things that I have done, was to join a bowling league. I suck at bowling, but it's with good friends and it's only once a month. What can it hurt? The shoes do suck though!
I also joined some
Meetup groups. I have gone to one event with Meetup so far and have another that I've signed up for at the end of the month. We'll see what  happens. I'll keep you posted.

My bowling shoes.
So, yes. I am another year older. But really, I wouldn't have it any other way. After all, it's better than the alternative!

"The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate."

~ Oprah Winfrey

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

2012. . . The year of contentment

I have started a new blog entry in my head countless times since last September. It's about time I actually type one out. . .
So much has happened since my last entry.

"They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself."

~Andy Warhol

~ I had my last day at the Early Head Start program, picked up more hours at Starbucks and once again began the search for my dream job.

~ I went on that trip to New York. It was wonderful! I ate my way through the city and celebrated my birthday in style.

~ I celebrated the holidays with my family.

~ I've also spent a lot of time watching my adorable nephew, Victor. And eagerly awaited the arrival of my new niece or nephew. She arrived last Wednesday. Mila Rose is absolutely beautiful.

I also struggled at the begininng of the year trying to decide whether or not to make any resolutions. Last year I went crazy and made seven or eight small ones that I intended to do every day and even created a checklist to keep track of everything. I did really well until about May, then it pretty much crumbled and I ditched the checklist and most of the resolutions. This year I wanted to do something more realistic. And so I grappled with ideas in my head, when one day in early January I saw a friend's facebook post and she announced that she had found her 'word' for 2012. So, I decided to steal her idea and come up with a word for the year that I would focus on. That was the challenging part. . .

I came up with a bunch of words, but none of them seemed to fit. I kept the search in my head, but continued on with life. Then one day around mid January, I started answering people's question of "How are you?" with "Great" instead of my usual, "Ok" or "Tired, but ok." The more I said that I was great, the more I started to actually feel great. It was like a self-fulfiling prophecy. Of course I was tired - I had been up since 4:00 in the morning. But really, my life isn't so bad. I'm certainly not in a place that I expected to be at this point in my life, but that doesn't make it bad. I am healthy. I have a great, albeit crazy, family. I have wonderful friends. I have a job. There are definitely improvements that I want to make and I am working on them - slowly, but surely. In the meantime I have decided to be content. Content with my life right now, in the present. Content with the changes I am trying to make. Content with the speed at which things are happening. And content with me. With that being said, I decided to make 'Contentment' my word for 2012. So far, I'm feeling pretty content.

"I have found that if you love life, life will love you back."
~Arthur Rubinstein