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Who Am I?

Have you ever sat and wondered what you were meant  to do?  Thinking to yourself, surely I am meant to do something important, my life has to mean something.  I know I do.  Then I ask myself, am I not trying hard enough?  Am I not using my “talents” to their greatest ability?  Am I missing something?  Because truthfully I don’t see myself as having accomplished very much in my life.

I went to University and got a great education, had the potential to be an amazing nurse, yet chose to stay at home with my kids and not work at all.  What have I done that I will be remembered for?  When I laid my head on the pillow at night I would ask God to talk to me, tell me what it was I was supposed to be doing and I heard nothing.  I assumed I wasn’t listening hard enough or even worse I wasn’t important enough for even God to bother with.

Now I know that I didn’t hear God because he had already told me what I was to do and I had done it.  I was meant to stay at home and be with my kids.  God simply said, stay the course, don’t give up.  Oh several times I tried to steer my ship in a new and more exciting direction, carve my own path, draw my own map and each and every time I was put back on course.  It is only now that I realize you don’t have to effect a multitude of people to be important.  You don’t need to change the world or have your name known by millions, effecting one or two people is enough.

I will never be the next great artist, a Pulitzer prize-winning author, I won’t be the CEO of a major company or a political leader.  I will not save thousands of lives or develop a cure for cancer, I won’t be a professional athlete or famous movie star.  I won’t leave my mark on a very big piece of real-estate when I leave this earth and I will be lucky to fill the first half of the church at my funeral, but there are a few people who my life has made a difference for and that is all that matters.  I may not cure cancer but perhaps my son will, I may not be a great artist but perhaps my encouragement will allow my daughter to be one.  I may not invent a new piece of medical technology but perhaps my other son will.  I may not save the lives of thousands but perhaps one day, someone I spoke to, or encouraged, or merely smiled at when they felt alone, sad or desperate were effected just enough to go on and live another day.

I have stopped asking what great and wonderful thing I am supposed to do with my life.  Instead I thank God for the opportunity to be myself.  I try to remember that my actions speak louder than my words and everything I do and everything I say has the ability to change the life of someone around me.  What an awesome responsibility!

Be the best self you can be everyday!  Perhaps you will write the next great novel or be the hottest blog on the internet, you never know.  What you do know is that each and every day at least one person will hear your words or see your face.  Make sure what you show them is something that you will want to be remembered by and that you DO have an effect on this world.

Your Lucky Ticket

The house is quiet again.  The morning rush hour is over, the kids are safely (I hope) settled into school and my husband is tucked neatly behind his office desk.  Oh yes the joy of being a stay at home mom.  I am so “lucky” I can just sit around and do nothing for the rest of the day and wait for everyone to come back at the end of their day.  In the meantime what should I do?  Perhaps drive around town in my new Lexus, get my hair and nails done at the salon, buy a new outfit, book the family vacation, and lunch with the girls.  NOT!

I can’t count how many times I have heard “you are so lucky to be able to stay home.”  I want to scream in reply that it isn’t luck that has allowed me to stay at home.  I CHOSE to give up my career to raise our children, I didn’t win the stay at home lottery.  With that choice came a great deal of sacrifice.

However, if you continue to believe it is a matter of luck let me give you your ticket for the STAY-AT-HOME-MOM lottery.  Good luck!

 lottery

 

 Please don’t get me wrong, I am happy with the choices I have made.  I wouldn’t exchange my time with my kids for any amount of money but it wasn’t always easy.  Through our sacrifices my husband and I have been able to carve out a comfortable life for our family and we now have some of those extras that we once had to forgo.  All I ask is that instead of looking at me and saying “wow you are lucky” look at me and say “wow you’ve worked hard to raise your family.”  It is the same respect I give you when I admire your promotion or your ability to balance your career and family.

What we do in life is not about luck, it is a choice.

 

Keeping Perspective

GO

Living life is like juggling balls.

I read this in a book, I would love to tell you which one but just can’t remember.  The book didn’t stick with me but the analogy did.

Each aspect of you life is a ball.

  • Health
  • Family
  • Job
  • Money

Now look at the list and realize that some of these balls are glass while others are rubber.  Health, and family are glass.  If you drop them they will shatter.  Job and money are rubber.  If you drop them they will bounce back.

When you are juggling your life remember which balls you need to prioritize.

STOP

Thanks to Gypsy Mamma Blog for another inspirational Five Minute Friday. This week’s topic is “perspective”  Please stop by her site and join in the fun.

The Gypsy Mama’s Blog

Don’t Mean to Burst Your Bubble.

I love it when someone’s stupidity provides you with the perfect blogging moment.

Unfortunately that someone has been my husband far too much lately.  Sorry honey I really love you and this isn’t supposed to be a husband bashing blog but really…you open the door, you walk in!

The week-end is here once again and like always we are trying to balance the multitude of tasks that need to be done in the household.  Final decisions needed to be made last night about whether or not we could make it to Canada for the week-end to put the docks in the lake.  The problem is we had already planned a dinner party for Sunday.  When my husband suggested that we could make it up to the lake it was my assumption he had cancelled the dinner party.

Hubby’s Week-end Plan:

  • Friday 1:00 pm – leave for the lake
  • Friday 7:00 pm – arrive at the lake
  • Saturday – put the docks in the lake and visit with relatives
  • Sunday 9:00am – leave the lake
  • Sunday 3:00 pm – arrive home
  • Sunday 4:00pm – host a dinner party

Hello???  I don’t mean to burst your bubble but I really am not super woman.

I’m not super man

Question: when will we get the groceries?

Answer: you can do that Friday morning before we leave.

Question:  When will I clean the house?

Answer:  The house is fine, just whip through with the vacuum when we get home.

Question:  When will we cook?

Answer:  I’ll just through the meat on the grill.

Question: What about the rest of the meal?

Answer:  That won’t take you long, you can do it.

No really I can’t do it!  But thank-you for the perfect blog!

Guess what I’m doing this week-end…staying home, cleaning and cooking.  Then relaxing with a wonderful dinner party.

One Woman’s Addiction

My name is Sandra and I am addicted to the Food Network.

Yes it is hard to admit but it is time to be honest about my problems and perhaps by talking about it I can finally get help.

Dinners, Drive-Ins and Dives, Cupcake Wars, Sweet Genius,  Chopped, Iron Chef, Mexican Made Easy, the list goes on and on.  I dream about Bobby Flay, Emeril Lagasse, and Jamie Oliver.  I just can’t help it.  I can’t get enough of the food network.

by Nick Nguyen

My problem goes even deeper.  Cook books…I can’t stop buying cookbooks.  I can’t help myself they call my name and beg me to buy them.  I stand in line at the check out trying to keep my eyes forward, begging them not to look sideways.  I know if I just glance at the magazines there is going to be a recipe on the cover that I’m not going to be able to live without.  My life will not be complete if I don’t have that magazine, that recipe.

This is a sampling of what I own

The irony is that I don’t even cook.  Well I cook, I just don’t cook well.  It’s the basics for my family.  Roast chicken, roast beef, grilled steak, spaghetti, you get the idea.   Definitely nothing that requires the in-depth studies of the food network or the use of one-hundred recipe books.  I want to cook better, I want to try the recipes, I just don’t.

As for why I don’t use what I learn on the Food Network, it’s an easy explanation…I can never remember what it was that I wanted to make after watching the show.  It is just one of those side effects of  the age and the fact that I’ve watched four episodes in one sitting and they all seem to blend together in the end.  The recipe books are the same.  I’ve bought so many I can’t remember which one has the recipe I wanted to try.  Basically I have overwhelmed myself to the point of not functioning.

So please help me.  I am Sandra and I am addicted to the Food Network (and cook books)

If you have any good recipes for a simple want-to-be chef please leave them here.  I promise, if you do, I will actually try to cook it.  I’ll even blog my results.

He’s From Somewhere Further Than Mars

Mars is much to close to Venus for my husband to be from there.  He is from an entirely different Galaxy.

By Raven Vasquez

I happened to remind him that it was mothers day this weekend and kindly inquired if we had any “special” plans for the weekend.  Wow did he come up with some great ones!

  • It’s supposed to be nice we could work in the yard.  You could put the flowers in the side garden if you want”  Oh ya that’s just what I want, to bust my a** in the garden for Mother’s Day.
  • While you’re at the grocery store why don’t you pick up some steaks I can grill.”  Obviously we are not going out for dinner.  Grilling steaks is code for “I’ll sit on the deck with the dog doing a Sudoku puzzle while you cut up the vegetables, make the salad, boil the potatoes and clean up the mess.”
  • Did the kids want to have any friends over this week-end?”  Perfect not only can I look after my kids but I can have the neighborhood kids too so their mom’s can have a quiet relaxing day reading a book.

This was not going in the direction I had hoped so I thought maybe I should help him along.

  • What do you think about picking up a patio set this weekend for the deck?”  His response: “I don’t need one, what we have is good enough.”  When did I mention him in that statement.  It was me I was thinking of and no I don’t NEED it either. However,  it would be nice to have a table so I didn’t have to eat of my lap all the time.

This is when I realized that my husband is an Alien from another galaxy.  He just doesn’t understand women.  (But I love him just the same)

I love him anyway

Please make me jealous and tell me what wonderful surprises your family has in store for you this weekend.  Perhaps I can live vicariously through you!

Identity

Ready, set…GO

If you ask me who I am I will tell you I am a mom, a wife, a daughter, a sister.  I will not apologize for identifying myself through the reflection of the people around me, rather I will be proud of that fact.  So many people believe you have to be yourself and you can’t identify yourself with someone else.  They accuse you of losing your identity only being a half a person, living through your children rather than finding your own self or happiness.  I am sorry but I disagree with you.

When I look in my children’s eyes I see a piece of me.  I see the love and the compassion that I have given them to develop into beautiful people and I am proud of myself.

When I look at my husband I see the other half of me.  Without him I would not be me.  I would be empty, I would be missing that part of me that has learned to love completely and unrestrained.  That part of me that is allowed to be angry, sad, silly, logical, illogical, whatever I want to be without worrying about being judged.

When I look at my parents I see the little girl who was creative and determined.  The one that said “I can do it myself” and they let me.

When I look at my sisters I see the woman I am.  Not the wife, not the mother, not the daughter, but a woman with thoughts, opinions and feelings.

So I will not apologize when I say that I am a wife, a mother, a daughter and  a sister.  I am Sandra…Just Me nothing more and nothing less.

STOP

Just Me!

Let me explain…I’m trying something new today that I found on Colline’s Blog and hope I am doing it correctly.  It is from the Gypsy Mama Blog and is called the Five Minute Friday.  For five minutes you are required to write with no editing, no back-tracking and no over-thinking.  She provides you with the topic and your off to the races.  This weeks topic is identity.  I thought it sounded like a great idea and thought I’d give it a try.  That being said, please forgive my mistakes.  Without further ado, please start the clock.

He Just Doesn’t Get It

You’ve got to be kidding me…we aren’t spring chickens anymore.

thank you freestock

That is the thought that kept going through my mind as my husband went over the detailed instructions with me, yet once again, for my meeting with the landscaper tonight.

  “Here are the drawings of what we are looking at getting done.  Don’t forget that we want to get all the drainage from the house taken care of so we don’t have to worry about water …blah, blah, blah…. (that’s what I heard).  Remind him that what we are looking for is someone who can come in with the big equipment to just do the heavy work.  We can do the lighter stuff ourselves to keep within budget.  We can build the retaining walls ourselves….” 

photo by grendelkhan

What?????  Stop right there.  Did he just say the retaining walls are the “light” part of the job.  Have you seen the size of those blocks?  They don’t look light to me.  Perhaps I need to remind him of the heart attack I thought I was going to have from planting the bushes in the front garden.  Did he forget that I could barely make it up the stairs for three days after attempting to “work out” my legs last week?  He just doesn’t get it…we aren’t young anymore and these “little jobs” have become much bigger.

It doesn’t stop there, it only gets better:

“…and the patio area here is interlocking brick.   Have him price it out for just laying the foundation for it we can lay the bricks ourselves”

Sure we can… and did you see that pig fly?

Thank you oddsock

So my friends I am off to the landscaping store to pick out the bricks for the patio and the retaining walls that my husband and I are apparently going to use in the backyard after the professionals do the “heavy work” of grading it.  Please stay tuned, this should be interesting!  Future blogs will either be about a divorce or the aches and pains of my poor body.

(I suppose I should be thrilled that he thinks I can actually do this)

I’ve Just Gotten Freshly Pressed!

I guess I am supposed to be saying thank-you right now to the mysterious Gods of freshly pressed.  I have had the honor of achieving the elusive state of being freshly pressed.  I know I should be excited and grateful, but really I just can’t figure out what everyone gets so excited about.  Nothing in my life has changed.  I am not a better blogger, I have no extra traffic coming to my site, the little orange numbers just don’t seem to be lighting up.  Honestly it is a day just like any other except that I am a little more tired, although I will admit, my husband does look a little more professional.

If truth be told I have always hated pressing clothes.  The number one, most important factor, in picking out new clothes is their wrinkle free factor.  My husband only gets “wrinkle free” shirts and the kids haven’t heard of cotton.  Personally if I wash a shirt that comes out of the laundry wrinkled it usually finds its way into the Goodwill bin.  I have had the same ironing board for twenty-six years and IT came from a yard sale.  My mother is disgusted that I haven’t bought a new one yet.  She reminds me every time she visits that ironing boards really are quite cheap.  It isn’t that I can’t afford it, it’s that I never really use it.  As a matter of fact it took me twenty minutes to find the darn things so I could actually press the suit.  The  iron  itself has pressed more flowers than shirts.

My dislike for ironing probably started when I was a kid.  Somehow I always seemed to be the one who got stuck with the chore of pressing the clothes.  My older sisters managed to score the pool cleaning and grass cutting, enjoying the sun and getting a little exercise while I was stuck in the laundry room with a basket overflowing with wrinkled clothes.  My mom is one of those ironing freaks, everything needed to be ironed.  Who irons T-shirts mom?  The only positive about doing the household pressing was that finally my jeans didn’t have the ridiculous press line running up the front of my leg.  Thank God she wasn’t one of the crazies that required pressed underwear.  Sorry if I have offended anyone, I respect the fact that your underwear are wrinkle free, I am just happy if they are “skid mark” free.

So here I sit today with my husbands clothes freshly pressed for his business trip waiting for the recognition of the blogging world for my remarkable achievement.  I don’t know how long it will be before I will be able to say I’m freshly pressed again so I really should bask in the glory of today.  Like I said earlier, nothing really has changed other than the fact that my husband looked pretty darn good today.  Maybe that is the true reward for being freshly pressed and I should be satisfied with that.

Good luck to my fellow bloggers and I hope some day you too can be freshly pressed.  I hope you find more satisfaction out of it than I did.  If you are feeling a little disappointed or let down, just look to your mate.  Perhaps he will look a little fresher, a little more put together and maybe a little sexier, then you can say…Thank-you Freshly Pressed God’s for making my day!

Please note the photography is black and white to reflect my opinion that ironing is old fashioned.

Sticky Notes…Ugh!

Great another “sticky note” strategically placed in the middle of my computer screen.  Yes, the gentle reminder to keep me on track.  Perhaps if I had pretended to accomplish something yesterday (other than shopping) I wouldn’t be greeted by the lovely little yellow note today.

Who invented this stupid “sticky note” program for the computer anyway.  I hate it but my husband seems to think it is the best thing since sliced bread.  Really there is nothing I hate more  than sitting down at my computer and finding yet another little reminder of all the things I need to do.  Haha, got you today.  Instead of doing it you inspired me to write a blog post.  I suppose I should thank you then.  Next time could you at least stick something like, drink coffee, make the bed, shower on the list so I can get some satisfaction out of crossing at least one or two things off the list.

If I delete the “sticky note” do you think it will make all these things go away.  Now that would be a cool invention.  Find me someone who can write a computer program that completes my to do list and I’ll be a happy woman (and they would be a happy, rich person)  Maybe that is what I should be doing with my extra time.   Wait, I don’t actually have extra time, I’m just wasting the time I have.

Now I’m stressed out.  I have all these things to do and I have no idea how I will find the time to do it.  I’m just going to have to go have a coffee and take some time to relax and decompress now.

Did I mention I hate “sticky notes?”