shan

shan

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Living the Dream...Still

I know, I know it's been a while. I could give good reasons why, but that would make this post much longer. Instead I'll try to do better, and dive into the (short version) of what I've been up to. 

May -I've wanted to take take my girls on a trip for a while. In May I did. Long story short, It wasn't a long trip, nor do I regret it, but travelling with daddy is a much better experience. 

June -I took on a leadership role. OK, that might not sound like a big one, but for me it's HUGE! My comfort zone is the background. It's not that I lack leadership potential, I just have a strong preference not to be in the forefront of anything. Of all the things I've done this year, this was the most nerve wracking. It also happened to be the most rewarding. 

July -After years of hearing about and "meaning to" I met a sibling for the very first time. It wasn't until after our time together, that I realized, I didn't take a picture. God willing, next time.

Now that we are all caught up... I'm back!

Monday, June 2, 2014

Living the Dream: April

OK, we are past April and May. It's June people! This post is overdue. I will go ahead and admit that April's adventure/accomplishment has nothing to do with me.

For sometime now I have wanted to get my 13 year old more involved in physical activity. She'd try it sporadically, but never committed. To me the greatest thing about exercise, is the way it affects my mood. She's been a bit blue lately. Thank you puberty/hormones! Anyhow, I've been encouraging her for some time to get outdoors, and get active. She didn't resist, but she never made it a priority until recently. Sometime (in April) she discovered (on her own) that she liked this working out stuff. I'm not saying she's out there everyday, or even that she is doing anything intense. Actually, all she does is power walk while she's listening to music on her iPod. I'm just excited that she is moving, and that she is self motivated.

When I was a kid we didn't need to make ourselves workout.  Playing outdoors was as natural as eating a meal, and believe me when I tell you, that was all the exercise we needed! Over the years outdoor play seems a lost art. Electronics rule the roost. To counter that, I've made myself an example where fitness is concerned. Thing is, I know that I could never force her into becoming active. She needed to see it, and enjoy it. It looks like she has. Her steps (literally) in the right direction has made this "fitness aware" mom happy. I see it as an investment in her very bright future.



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Thursday, April 3, 2014

Living the Dream: March

I did not intentionally set out to find what I did last month. It found me. For quite some time I have wanted to try a running group. I enjoy my solo runs; however I have found that running with someone faster than I am improves my pace. Thing is, I've never been the group fitness type. No offense to the packs, if that's your thing, do you. I find that I motivate me. Company not necessary. Plus, I never wanted to get in the habit of only exercising with people, associating the two and then come to depend it. There are many benefits to working out with others. It's not like you have to choose one or the other. You can have a balance of both. For the sake of this post though just know that I'm kind of a loner.

Earlier this month I met a lady and through small talk found out she ran. It was all downhill from there. She told me about a group that she'd been running with. They meet three times a week to encourage, motivate, support each other, and of course to run. She invited me to try it. If you are not familiar, know that when people call themselves "a runner" that covers a wide range. Anything from a sub 5 minute mile to over a 15 minute mile could be a "runner."  I wanted to find out what I was getting into. I asked about their pace. She said they have "all pace ranges." Vague answer, but given I've been curious about these groups for years, I figured I'd try it. I was restless the night before. I'm usually nervous/anxious the night before a race type event. I had that seem feeling the night before I met the group.These ladies meet to run at 5 am. Even if they are not serious athletes, or fast, it takes commitment to keep meeting at that time. In my head though, I pictured showing up to run with gazelles.

This is my second week running with the group. No gazelles, but I have enjoyed the company more than I thought I would. It's a nice break from the norm. I'm not sure I'll be running with this group long term, but I have enjoyed the experience thus far. Plus, meeting to exercise and pray with like-minded people is not a bad way to start of the day.  

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Cool Crazy Friends

I have this crazy cool friend who I'll call X. X and I have been friends now for about 15 years. I can almost always count on X for a good laugh and a refreshing take on life.
Yesterday X and I were having a conversation. We discussed summer plans, health, fitness, kids, school, general chit chat before the conversation got really, really juicy. Our conversations tend to be like that, general stuff with random bombs thrown in. Keeps me on my toes. Nope. I can't give you the details. It's not even that X would mind. X is totally proud of this latest adventure, but's it's a code of silence thing with me. For the sake of this post I'll tell you that what X did was not wrong, nor did it break the law. Further, one would have to let go of ALL inhibitions to do it. I have to confess compared to this friend I am an absolute wallflower. X lives unashamedly out loud, then tells me all the details, and in some cases sends me the pictures. After our conversation ended, the shock wore off,  and the giggles went mostly away, I started thinking about my friends. It's truly a very odd mixture of people. The interests and tastes among them are as different as can different can be. I am grateful for them all. For the calm, cool and collected ones, and for the crazy, cool ones too. If you have true friends you are blessed. If you have crazy, cool friends your life will never be dull. And if you can't think of any crazy cool friends, then you are probably that person :)

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

"Meanwhile Back at the Ranch..."

I  love that phrase. I've used it to refer back to a topic of importance, or to end an inappropriate one ;) I've been doing a lot of "referring back" lately. About a week a half a go an ice storm came through our area. It took out quite a few trees in my yard, and neighborhood. It also took the power with it. After being without electricity (in winter) for nearly four days we got it back. Well sort of. It shuts on and off at will. Despite my frustration with, the city, home owners insurance, no electricity and the ramifications that goes with it, I'm grateful. I've been reminding myself that "meanwhile back at the ranch" there are those who have never had electricity. At least the days we lost power were mostly mild. Above all, storm damage to property pales in comparison to lost of lives and injuries. Gotta tell ya, remembering what's most important, keeps me from being anxious over what is less important. It's easy to get worked up over what is currently not working in life, but "meanwhile back at the ranch" there is much, much, MUCH to be thankful for.

So though we are still recovering from this:





















 Thankfully (and literally) life goes on



Thursday, March 6, 2014

God won't Give You...

There is this quote floating around out there, "God will never give you more than you can handle." OK, just for clarity that statement is nowhere in the Bible. I think it sounds good, so people keep repeating it. Kinda like the "cleanliness is next to godliness" thing. God does tell us that He won't let us be tempted beyond what we can bear, but that's not the same thing. I think He gives us a lot more than we can handle. He then helps us "handle it." He's pretty clear that we are "more than conquerors" in Him, and that we can do all things through Him. Not a debate, just my thoughts. That's not even the point of this post.

Yesterday someone told me that they were out working in the yard one morning after working an "all nighter." The neighbor saw it, and knowing their schedule expressed concern over the fact that the person should be resting not working. The individual explained to the neighbor that the work needed to be done. No one else had the responsibility of the work. The person tried to ease the neighbor's concern by offering "God won't give me more than I can handle right?" 
The neighbor's response: "Don't handle more than God gives you." It cracked me up! I appreciate a quick thinker, and a witty response, but I couldn't help but acknowledge the raw truth in the comment. How many things do we do by our own will/volition/choices then blame God? Too many.  Essentially we "bite off more than we can chew" then claim "God doesn't give..." I for one needed to be reminded to be smart about the things I busy myself with. 

If you'd like to look that verse up, it's 1 Corinthians 10:13. Ask yourselves how does that quote square with Romans 8:37. I think I just gave you guys homework. Blame it on Homeschooling :)

Monday, March 3, 2014

February's First: Living my Dreams

I've dabbled in poetry writing since childhood. The person who sorts my effects after I'm gone will be overwhelmed by the amount of thoughts and lines I have written in journals and on random pieces of paper. Sorry.
In keeping with my resolve to accomplish or pursue something of meaning to me monthly, in February I attended (for the first time) a poetry Slam. I've wanted to do something like this for years! This one was particularly exciting.  It was held at the library which meant I could somewhat count on "clean creativity/content"  It was also geared toward teens, so bonus I took my teen with me. She's a bit of a "reluctant" poet. It was cool to expose her to something new. We didn't get to view many of the performers. The show was running late. We had some place we wanted to be, but the experience of it was definitely one I'd like to try again. 
Next time who knows? Perhaps an open mic night without the teenager. I might even get up and read a few lines... 

Thursday, February 27, 2014

 Panelling Project and More



Paneling Project 

Hi all. I'm still here. Still contemplating my latest spring project. The more I look at that paneling, the more I think, "why not keep it in its original form?" Now is a good time to mention, that the floor in that room is slate, black slate. Could there be two worst combinations? Never mind. I don't want to know. To complicate matters, my husband likes the floor! Looks like updating this room, and making it cozy family room I know it could be, is going to require some serious thought, and a boat load of creativity. Wish me luck! Better yet send me some ideas :)


More
(see cake getting no love)
So this is kind of random. A certain someone turned 3 yesterday. When presented with her birthday cake, and lollipops, it wasn't even a competition. The lollipops won. What you were expecting her to chose cake? So was I. Anyway, a picture of the birthday girl and her choice treat. Too cute to keep to myself.




Saturday, February 15, 2014


I Know Spring is on the Way When...

Sometime in January the sun begins to set around the 6 pm mark. By the end of February that time is rolled back even further. In fact last night, the last traces of daylight left the sky around 6:30. I was watching. Every year I find myself watching and waiting for this. The anticipation of longer evenings and warmer temperatures is downright invigorating. With each day that passes I imagine winter releasing its icy cold grip. The slow march toward longer evenings, more sunlight brings me hope, happiness even.

I've noticed something else the nearing of spring brings, the need to redecorate. I'm not even kidding! In the last few years, every spring I find myself wanting to makeover my house. I pour over projects and design ideas. I once thought people who spring cleaned, aren't cleaning often enough. And people who have spring projects are probably not doing enough year round. I guess I'm among them now. For the record, I was wrong. And I'm not saying that because I now find myself doing the same things. I just get it now.

The latest project fixation? Our family room. We live in a house built in an era when wood paneling was all the rage. Our family room is a monument to that fact. Initially when we purchased the home, I thought I'd go in, take down all the paneling and move on. I quickly discovered the error on my thinking. The paneling in this house is not the cheap, thin stuff. It is solid, honest to the core, around three quarters of an inch thick wood. To tear it all out and toss it is wasteful. To paint it almost seems criminal. Just when I thought I stumbled up on the solution of pickle finishing, enter my husbands opinion: "I'm not a fan of that." How could you not be a fan of this? I know him well. Ultimately, he doesn't care about my decorating choices, but the idea that he doesn't love it makes me hesitant to proceed. So here I sit. Again. What to do with my paneled room? Such a pressing and time sensitive problem you know? I just had to blog about it :)

Actually I do have an idea. But because I don't want to write a book. I'll tell you more about it next time. Meanwhile a few pics of my panel pain.