Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Conquering the Winter Blues

Every year the same thing happens.

As the days get shorter, I go through a 2-3 week funk that I can't seem to shake.

Dark at 6:30 p.m. & the shortest day is still 5 weeks away.

I can't make myself get out of bed in the morning. I can barely keep my eyes open past 9 p.m. That's not me. I'm the person who is up at 5 a.m. every morning after going to bed at 11 p.m.

I become a hermit (OK, a bigger hermit than normal). I just want to be at home by myself (mainly so I can go to bed by 7:30 p.m.). That's not me. I love grabbing a drink after work with friends, going over to my sisters' homes in the evening and playing with my nieces/nephews or stopping in and saying hi to my parents.

I feel overwhelmed by what's happening at work. I can't concentrate without shutting my door and turning up my music. I get to work later and go home earlier because I'm so tired. That's not me. I'm usually good for 10+ hours at work and then another hour or two on my laptop at home.

I'm sure all of this has to do with the seasons changing and the time change but it's so hard because I'm just not me. I can't imagine if I had to take care of others (children, spouse, pets, plants) right now. I can barely take care of myself.

But I see the light at the end of the tunnel. After a mini-breakdown on a phone call with a friend last night, I think I may be coming through it. I stayed up past 9 p.m. and I exercised while watching hockey (love my mini-stepper). I'm actually looking forward to a night out or two this week.

Bring it on, Winter. I'll survive your cold winds and short days and look forward to better days!

Do you get the winter blues? How do you snap yourself out of them?


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Reason 43 Why I Should Not Judge Others


This is what I saw after I dragged my garbage can into the garage on Monday night.

It made me realize what the knocking sound was that I heard while driving home from the gas station a few minutes earlier.

I just shook my head, put the gas cap back on and closed the door.

I was officially one of those people.

The people I have always silently judged as I passed them on the highway with their gas cap flapping in the wind.

"How can you forget to put the cap back on?" "How do they not notice what is obvious to everyone they pass?" "Can't they see the open door in their side mirror?!?"

The next time I pass one of these misunderstood humans, I'll just say a little prayer that whatever was on their mind while pumping gas works itself out and they have a better day.

The next time I pump gas, I'll check twice to see if my gas cap is secured and the door is closed.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Two Years Plus Two Kids Equals My Loves


The photo above was taken almost two years ago exactly from today. Here is the original post.

These are my beautiful, sweet and young nieces and nephews. Oh, how I love them.

The above photo was taken by a professional and she did a wonderful job capturing our family.

A couple of weeks ago, we hosted an event at our family farm and my dad's cabin was decorated for fall so my mom wanted me (a non-professional) to take some new family photos.

I agreed to take new ones of them and their grandchildren. I told her that my sisters and I hadn't changed that much so we didn't need to be in the photos.

At least that was my excuse...I really just didn't want to take a shower and get dressed up after a long weekend!

So, we decided to re-create a couple photos of the kids since we added two new kiddos and the original 6 decided to grow up.


It's not quite as good as the original but I love how it captures the changes two years has brought.

Did you notice that the original 6 are in the same order? Well, except that A is now sitting next to the eldest nephew and not in his lap, but close enough.

While the photos above are precious, the ones below really capture the personalities of these 8 crazy kids...

Two years ago:

Today:

Now, those are my nieces and nephews! Love, love, love them!


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Sunflowers Make Me Happy

Sunflowers are such happy flowers, don't you agree?

My sister has a row of them growing in her garden along one of my dad's soybean fields.

I took a few shots of them last week and decided to do a Wordless Wednesday post (does anyone still do these?) with them.

Here you go!


A little flower among the flowers. 


Can you see the bee? 






Monday, July 21, 2014

Terra Cotta Warriors: A Must See in Indy

I had a couple of MUST DOs around Indianapolis this summer and one of them was to go to see the Terra Cotta Warriors exhibit at The Children's Museum of Indianapolis.

So I took a day off of work, convinced my sister to use her family pass to take her boys, our three nephews and, of course, me.


And it was awesome. My sister and I enjoyed it. Our 12-year-old nephew liked it. And my other nephews - aged 5, 6 & 9 - liked it. The baby seemed to enjoy it too, but who knows with babies.

In addition to all of the history shared in the exhibit - including some of the actual warriors - it had enough hands-on exhibits to keep the boys interested. I could have done without the giant drum that they could play, but that's just me and my ears!

I could only get the two youngest to put on masks and pose...

They were able to put together the pieces of a warrior like the archaeologists had to do. 

Never a serious pose from the redhead...

They could put on armor and post next to a couple warriors.

Not sure these are authentic poses...

They could even put their face on one of the warriors and email a postcard to their mom.

They all got sent but G-man's...luckily I captured a shot of it on the screen...


Here's a collage of the other 4 boys, including the baby.

If I sent out Christmas cards, this would be it!

There is so much more in the exhibit that I didn't capture on camera, including making their own clay Terra Cotta Warriors!

The exhibit is open until November 2, 2014 and this is the ONLY place to see it in the U.S. this year!

The museum is really embracing China with a new Take Me There: China exhibit (see my post about it here) and the Great Wall of China Slide in the foyer (the slide usually only makes an appearance during the winter holidays).



So, if you have a day in Indianapolis, I definitely recommend checking it out. There is an additional charge and timed tickets are required to see the Terra Cotta Warriors exhibit. Find out more here.

I'm definitely going back with a couple of friends - sans kids - so I can explore the exhibits a bit more AND get my own photo as a Warrior!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Clearing the Hurdle

I have two voices in my head.

One that talks about everything I'm going to do today. What I'm going to accomplish. How productive I'm going to be.

The other one tries to convince me that everything can be done tomorrow. Just let it go. (Cue the popular Disney song.)

I have to admit. I listen to the latter more than I should. 

Especially when it comes to things I don't want to do.

Don't get me wrong. I think it's OK to listen to the "slacker" voice in my head sometimes but it's becoming a habit. 

I'm trying to break the habit and I think I cleared a hurdle this morning.


Instead of staying in bed to read or play on my phone, I got out of bed and ran!

This morning felt like a turning point. Like if I stayed in bed, I'd let the last 3 weeks of work go to waste. Like I'd go back to my old sedentary ways and never go back to the routine I am trying to make a habit.

Let me tell you...it felt GOOD!

Now, if I would only listen more closely to the overachiever voice in my head when it comes to cleaning my house.

Oh well, one hurdle at a time, right?

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Things Found in the Middle of My Kitchen Floor


I was checking my email yesterday and came across a comment on my blog from an "Anonymous" fan. You know the ones I am talking about...the spammers. How did I know this one was spam?

First, it said "Anonymous" as the name.

Second, it filtered into my SPAM folder .

Third, the comment read "This type of paragraph writing is exciting."

"Paragraph writing." That's hilarious. Obviously it was SPAM, have you ever seen a paragraph on this blog!

Now, if the comment said, "your use of the ellipsis is awe-inspiring" or "the way you use lists is mind-blowing," then I might take it more seriously!

However, I did notice that the comment was on an old blog post about the random items found in the middle of my kitchen floor after three weeks of travel.

That made me think about what was in the middle of my kitchen currently.

This is what was there...


That's not bad you say...a box of beer and the spoils from an Ikea shopping trip.

Well, I went to Ikea 10 days ago.

The beer and Capri Suns have been sitting there for a week before that.

And the only reason they still aren't sitting there is that I ran out of cold beer in the fridge!

This revelation has inspired me to start a new series here on the blog called "Things Found in the Middle of My Kitchen Floor (Really)."

It won't be a regularly scheduled post but it will appear every now and then when I walk in the house and realize that I once again have a pile of random stuff in the middle of the floor.

Feel free to share what's in the middle of your kitchen floor in my comments OR post a photo on my Facebook page with the hashtag - #KitchenFloorPile.

Who knows what will be next...#KitchenTablePile or #SpareRoomPile or #TVRoomChairPile. The possibilities are endless...though the next hashtag I might be using is #FutureEpisodeofHoarders.




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