Monday, March 5, 2012

Today is sucking the LIFE out of me

So I haven't been here in awhile because I am SUPER busy with LIFE! However that LIFE is being sucked out of me today.
As many of you know, I'm back in school. I just got into my major courses and this one is a toughie! Business Ethics and Principles and let me tell you, this is no easy A. In fact, I will be lucky to get an A at all in this class. I misread the instructions to my paper due today and so I am starting from scratch, rather than having 2 days work done on it. I forgot to take my quiz by yesterday, so that was turned in late today. I am just overwhelmed and it is completely my fault! UGH! I just needed to take a break from thinking about it and come write a little to help get my frustrations out.
On the plus side, the boys are playing so well together today, it's almost as if they know I'm losing my mind! We went to the library after school and picked out some videos. After we looked at every book about trucks and super heroes the boys wanted to play on the computers for a bit. They both chose the Tonka Truck game (go figure!). Neither one of these fabulous 4 year olds is a very skilled driver. You have to "drive" with the mouse, but I secretly think they just like to crash with the mouse. They both run into everything! And they giggle when their trucks make tracks in the grass and dirt pit. It was highly enjoyable to watch them play today. They are currently playing with an airplane and cars and deciding which super hero they are for the moment.
I'm also overwhelmed with the decision to move out of my mom's house. I dog/house sat for friends while they were in Florida this past week and it made me realize two things: 1) Nate and I need our own place so that I can finally be the kind of mom I want to be and 2) my mother is a hoarder and it is driving me crazy. Not only that but she is crazy. For those of you that know her, depending on how you know her, you may be thinking, YEAH she is or what are you talking about. Take it from me, there is definitely some mental something going on and she needs help. She yells at me for not picking the bath mat up as I'm walking out of the bathroom wrapped in a towel, yet she has left it on the floor for the entire day today. She took over my 3 foot area in the basement that was supposed to be for my stuff, but she has slowly invaded. We have a FULL basement that you can't walk around in without tripping on her crap. I have had enough. She thinks all of her problems are my fault and I'm tired of it. I just want out. But that's the tricky part, isn't it. I can't afford rent because it's ridiculous. I don't have enough verifiable income to get a mortgage, so what's a mom supposed to do? Well a lot of prayer for sure. It's all I have prayed about lately because I want out yesterday! The day we can move out will not come soon enough. I thought that God was keeping me in my mom's house because he wanted me to figure out how to fix our relationship, but I've realized that the longer I'm there, the worse it is going to get. I can honestly say I really don't like my mom. I think she is spiteful, vengeful, angry, depressed, hateful...and I don't want to be around that anymore. Case in point: Many of you may remember our "mean" neighbors. Well a lot of progress has been made and they aren't so mean after all. But my mom, being the immature person she is can't see past the past. The little girl next door had gotten a new toy right before our first snowfall. She was playing with it and it landed on our roof. I told her when the snow melted we would try to get it down. I was telling my mom about it and her response, "Well it's mine now." Really? What are you going to do with it??? Seriously I need you to grow up. She is just ugly inside. I don't know when or how she got this way, but I wish she would change. I've talked to her about it before because it isn't just our neighbors that she is that way with, it's everything. I once tried telling her a story about how our pastor was showing God's love to his neighbors (long story short, they got flooded, my pastor sandbagged and the neighbor's garden flooded as a result of the sandbagging) when he offered to pay for the damage caused by their sandbags. Her response, "They should move their garden if they know that's going to happen, your pastor shouldn't be incovenienced." Seriously????
Ok so I guess today isn't sucking the life out of me, my mom is. I think once we get out of her house things might get better between us, but never like we were before I moved in with her. Sad how relationships get destroyed. I know that God can turn things around but right now I really just need him to provide a place for Nate and I to live, in our home where we can be who we were created to be. So if you are the praying kind, please be praying for us. Thanks!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

2012 Goals

Do you have any?  I do.  A few actually.
1. Take 365 pictures this year, minimum (not really a challenge as I took over 200 in one day last year) but I want to take pictures of things I normally wouldn't.  For example, I took a picture during worship in VK today.  Not the best picture, but I love it.
 2. Lose a lot of weight.  I would really like to lose half of my total weight.  Seeing as I don't have a scale, I don't really know what that number would be.  But it's a lot.  And I've got a good start on it.  I hope to use this particular journey to glorify God, because without Him, I wouldn't even be going to the gym.

3. Get SUPER organized.  I want to clean out any and all clutter in my life.  Physical material clutter, emotional clutter and spiritual clutter as well.  I want it all gone!  I think I'm preparing for the next chapter in my life and in order to do so, I have to get rid of some crap.

4. Grow my faith.  I want to grow in my faith to the point that I never question God's intentions or His goodness.  Now this is not to say that I continually do this now, but someone once said we must look like toddlers to God when we don't get our way or when things don't go the way we want them to or think they should.  And I want to stop that.  I don't want to continually be a toddler.  I want to grow up.  It might be painful, and it might be disturbingly difficult. But I know I can do it.

5. Deepen my relationships.  I have some truly amazing friends and I have some truly amazing acquaintances who would make amazing friends. I want to deepen the friendships I have and make friends out of those acquaintances.

6. Continue my 4.0 in school.  I want to graduate with a 4.0 so I have to keep it up this year.

7. Become a better mom.  I am continually working at being the best mom I can be, especially since I'm a single mom, I'm the only one Nate has.  But I really want to make sure that healthy parenting is what I'm doing.  We damage our kids without realizing it, but because I see some of the damage I can or have caused, I want to change that pattern before I turn my kid into a serial killer or something.

8. Last but not least, I am working on a single's mentoring program/curriculum.  I think it would be a lot easier to be single and give that time to God if there was someone to help guide them.  This curriculum would be God centered and not focused on finding Mr./Mrs. Right.

Please do not get these goals confused with New Year's Resolutions.  I do not do resolutions.  Resolutions seem to be something to kick off the new year with, only to give up on them a few weeks later.  Goals give me something to strive for the entire year.  So on December 31, 2012, let's check back on this list and see what I accomplished and what fell by the wayside.  I hope to say that I accomplished all of my goals!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Project 365

Well I started my project 365.  My first picture was of my closet because that is something I plan on working on this year.  I think I mentioned that previously.
Don't judge! That's a lot of shoes and clothing to keep organized in the smallest closet I have ever had!  However, this is the year to make it work.  That closet has been driving me NUTS for awhile now.

My next picture was of some of the youth group kids.  We went to a movie on Monday afternoon together and it really was one of the most fun times I've had, lol.
The one making the crazy face with the pink hair is our youth director, not a student!  She's great at what she does and the kids absolutely adore her, as they should.  Our youth program has really turned around since she took over, though I think it goes unnoticed by many of our church goers.  Sad fact.

Yesterday's pic was of Nate and Dillon at the Family Museum, and while I have tons of pics of them at the Family Museum, yesterday's makes me smile.  They were sitting on the "tornado" maker with their backs to me, deciding which area of the museum to unleash themselves on.  It was a perfect moment to capture.

I have a feeling a lot of project 365 is going to be of these two.
I just wanted to show you what I have so far.  3 down, 362 to go!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Happy New Year

So it's 2012 and for many people this means it is time to make some new year's resolutions.  Not for me.  I don't care for resolutions because in the past, when I have made them, I never kept them.  So rather than say I'm making resolutions, I'm making a choice to change the way I'm living.
I want to get my home organized.  I'm super organized in my business life, but my home life is a disaster, along with my car.  And it is driving me bonkers! I'm tired of it and I refuse to continue to live this way any longer.
I started with my closet (which was also my first picture in my 365 day project).  I turned all of my hangers around on the bar so they are facing the wrong way.  Once I wear something, I turn the hanger around.  At the end of the year, anything that is still facing the wrong way gets removed from the closet. I did already clean some stuff out and I need to call a consignment shop to get rid of it. But I think it shall be quite interesting to see what is still the wrong way at the end of the year.
I'm also cleaning the clutter out of my body (I Want My Belly Button Back) and I am finally going to get in shape.  And not because everyone else wants me to, but because I want to.  It took a long time for me to get to this point, but I want to do everything in life and not worry about what I look like doing it.  So check out the blog, it's gonna be a wild ride.
I'm cleaning the clutter out of mine and Nate's rooms. We have so much STUFF!  Who needs it all?  So we are going to get rid of it!  He doesn't need every toy ever made and I don't need...well whatever all this junk is I don't need it!
Of course I have tons of other stuff I want to accomplish this year, but this is good for January! 
Oh and I have pictures of all my Christmas projects, as promised.  I will try and get those posted tomorrow, with the exception of the super hero capes, those still are unfinished, but getting closer!
Happy New Year dear friends!  I look forward to what 2012 has in store for us!

Monday, December 12, 2011

A year in pictures

Starting January 1, I'm starting a project called A Year in Pictures.  Photography is really one of my favorite hobbies.
I love to take pictures.
I love to look at pictures.
I love to scrapbook pictures.
I love pictures.
Of anything, anyone, anywhere.
I'm really excited to start this project, I just hope I actually do take a picture each day intentionally for this project.  Oh, I'm not worried that I won't take 365 pictures.  Trust me I've taken more than that in a single day.  I just want to be intentional about the pictures I take and the stories I tell with them. 
I haven't quite decided what the story will be yet, but when I do, I will let you all know.
I've thought of doing a different theme each month, but I tend to get bored with that kind of thing.
So then I was thinking of making this project about something other than photographs of people.  Shooting only non human subjects: cars, animals, cups, food, plants, you get the idea. 
Again, I will probably get bored with that.  So for now there is no theme, but there is a story to tell.
I want each picture to have meaning.  If I take a picture of the stove I want it to be because I cooked an amazing meal.
If I take a picture of my bathroom I want it to be because I had an epiphany in there.  Oh come on, you know you do your best thinking on the toilet or in the shower too!
So I want this project to have intentionality behind it because I want it to mean something.  I don't want 365 random photos at the end of the year.  I usually have something like that anyway LOL
So if there is something you would like to see in this project let me know, I will try to make it happen and stay tuned, I'm sure there are bound to be some interesting photos coming your way via SingleMom4God!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

To write a Christmas letter or not to...

That is the question.  I've only ever done one Christmas letter, it was 3 years ago for Nate's first Christmas.  There were a lot of changes going on that year: Nate was born, I moved to Iowa from Chicago, I started a new job, blah blah blah....

I was thinking of doing another one this year, like an every 3 year kinda thing LOL, but I heard some DJ's this morning talking about Christmas letters and I kind of feel dumb for sending one.  The 2 male DJ's suggested that most Christmas letters are to brag about your kids and the amazing things they are doing.  And they are right, except I don't see it as bragging.  I see it as catching all of my dear friends and family up on my interesting and imaginative son. And of course including little tidbits about myself as well!

The female DJ had a different take on them.  She really enjoys getting Christmas letters.  She said that she puts them up on her refrigerator and reads them over and over again.  She really enjoys hearing about other families and what is going on with them throughout the year.  This is when one of the male DJ's said, "That's what Facebook is for."

Maybe he has a point.  Maybe Christmas letters are becoming a thing of the past, just like snail mail.  Shoot we don't even have next day delivery from the Postal Service beginning next year. And who can blame them?  With the way the internet and email has taken over, no one uses postal mail for anything anymore.  We don't really need to.  Contracts that previously needed to be mailed or delivered via courier can now be emailed and accepted with an electronic signature.  Birthday cards can now be sent via email as an ecard.  Bills can be emailed and paid online.

However, the one thing that should never be done online is a Christmas card. At least in my opinion anyway.  Just like a love letter, a Christmas card should be sent through the mail.  I just think it is more personal.  But maybe this doesn't hold true for the Christmas letter. Maybe it really is ok to allow everything you update your status with on Facebook be enough.

I did like what one of the male DJ's had to say.  Instead of just sending a letter that details or outlines your family's life for the past year, he and his family find something that God used or did in their lives and create a devotional out of it.  They ask everyone they send it to, to find a way to do the devotional together as a family and see how it could apply to each of their lives. 

So if you are one of the many receiving a Christmas card from me this year, you may or may not find a Christmas letter enclosed, but if you do, know this...I wrote it with my heart because I wanted to include you in the many things that happen throughout our year.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Christmas Crafting

Did you know Christmas is less than 3 weeks away???  Are you prepared? I am...sort of.  Are your Christmas cards in the mail? My cards are addressed but not yet in the mail, maybe I will get to that tomorrow.  Are your gifts all purchased?  Are they wrapped and under the tree?  Do you have a tree yet?  It's so much to take in this time of year.  I have almost all of my Christmas shopping completed.  I still have the jumbo box of Crayola crayons to purchase, you know the one with the sharpener in the back, cuz that's the one every kid wants, and an Isabelle Bloom to buy (for those of you not from the QC, Isabelle Bloom's are statues made out of cement, one is enough for some people, but apparently not my mom), and a couple of cd's or movies.  Everything else is purchased... 
Everything else being materials for gifts I'm making.
Did I go crazy this year?  I think I must have because I decided I wanted to give mostly homemade gifts.  Fabulous idea, but I forgot to schedule the time to make these gifts into my life.  While I have been blessed to get quite a few of them actually completed, the majority are only partially finished.  And a couple are still just ideas floating around in my head, the materials are purchased, but I haven't even begun to create them into the masterpiece they are meant to be.
I honestly love the idea of giving all homemade gifts, but I need to remember to schedule them in my day.  I have time scheduled to go to the gym, to work, to spend time in the Bible, I even have quiet time scheduled.  I'm a planner, I like to see things written down on paper, so I not only have my calendar in my phone but I carry a paper planner as well.  OCD? Quite possibly.

So what am I making you ask?

Well let me tell you...

First I'm making coasters out of tile I got at Lowe's with each family's initial on them.  Quite simple and easy to do.  Of course I lost the list of families I was going to make them for, so...I am also giving them to Nate's teachers.  Originally this is why I was looking for ideas, original gifts for teachers, not just the World's Best Teacher coffee mug.  But I liked them so much and they are so cheap to produce that I decided to make them for quite a few families, but as I mentioned above, I lost the list and only remember 10, including the teachers. Hmmm...

Second I'm making homemade beef jerky.  I have made 2 batches so far, and I'm going to mix up another batch of marinade this afternoon to get 2 more batches done.  The fun thing with this one is I found out you can make beef jerky from ground beef! So I will be trying that as well this Christmas.  I will let you know how it turns out.

Third, I'm making "Family Night In" gift bags that have microwave popcorn, homemade jerky, cocoa, and marshmallows in them.  Not so much homemade, but put together.  I was going to include a gift card to Redbox, but have yet to find such a thing.  Considering one to Family Video as well.

Fourth, I'm trying my hand at making fudge.  I am not sure how this will turn out, so it is starting as dessert for a dinner party I'm attending Friday night.  If it's a hit, I will make some more and add it to the Family Night In bags, if it's not we'll chalk it up to a nice try :)

Fifth, I'm making Nate a fleece blanket with John Deere on one side and Iowa Hawkeyes on the other.  His two favorites at the moment.  This is another one that I have the two pieces of fleece, I just haven't cut and tied them yet.  However, that is going to be a little tricky with Nate around all the time ;)  I'll have to ship him to his favorite Great Aunt's house for a few days!

Sixth, I have made some beautiful button trees. Click here to see a pic of what I used as a template.  I made 4 of these, 2 with buttons and brown trees, 1 black tree with marbles that you can use in fish tanks and flower vases, and 1 black tree with crystals and rhinestones.

Seventh, I have 8x8 canvases that I have painted one each of blue, green, purple, and pink.  I am going to put Nate's handprints and footprints on them in coordinating colors.  These are almost done, I just have to get the prints on them.

Wow, I think that is everything.  Once I get them all finished I will post each project with step by step instructions on how to do them yourself.  I'm having so much fun making them I think I should go into business for myself!  Just add it to the to do list: Create own company!