Wednesday Things

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1. Our wedding guest book arrived!! I know I mentioned that I second-guessed it for a hot second in last week’s Wednesday post, but now that I have it in my hands, I couldn’t be any happier. I’m so excited to read the things everyone I love has written in it after the wedding.

2. Today has not been a day when the universe has been nice to me. I slept through my alarm (for the second day in a row), realized I forgot my wallet at home only AFTER I ate out for lunch, went to the wrong meeting place for a group project and didn’t realize it for an hour, got cussed out for walking into the grocery store (what?), and was then honked at and given the finger for safely and legally getting into the lane for a Michigan left (I had signaled, then braked, and then merged into the left-turn lane, all while monitoring my mirrors like a good citizen. I have no idea what this guy was angry about).

3. Today I had my last choir rehearsal ever. Probably for ever ever. My director said the sweetest thing to me after specially recognizing the graduating seniors; he said “what a neat opportunity you gave to me by auditioning and joining Chorale this year.” Although I’m slightly terrified at the fact that, in a little less than a month (WHAT?) I’ll be graduated and will likely never get the chance to sing with a group of people ever again, and almost definitely will never get the chance to sing with such a wonderful group of people who are just so dang good at what they do. You can say whatever you like about what you’re going to miss when you graduate, but the connection and belonging you gain by being in an amazing choir with a director who is the most enthusiastic and loving person I have ever met is something that will break your heart when you leave. Even though I’ve only been in Chorale for this past year, I’ve learned so much about who I am, who I want to be, who I can be, and what I value through the process.

4. Some of you know I write for MySubscriptionAddiction, a company that reviews subscription boxes. Because of the fact that boxes are only mailed out monthly (or bi-monthly, or quarterly), it’s taken some time to get a good number of boxes sent my way even though I’ve been employed for a couple months. Things have really gotten going this month, and I just have to say that this is one of the neatest opportunities I’ve had. I’m loving it. It’s also so much fun to try new things! I mean, sometimes I get clothes or high-end beauty products, and sometimes I get a box of Japanese action figures? All in all, though, it’s awesome.

5. Did you know that Audible lets you return audio books for 365 days after the purchase date? You can only return like, two online and then you have to call their customer service for the rest, but it’s so easy and they don’t even bug you about it. They might ask why you’re returning them, and you can literally say “just ’cause.” Guess who has 6 new books at once to listen to! This gal!

6. Can we just talk about how my fiancee actually researched relationship-related books and asked for us to get them to read together to prep for married life? On his own? It’s like he’s some sort of rare mythical beast or something. What guy does that? A great one, that’s for sure.

7. Does anyone else find it hard to feed yourself for real when you’re all by yourself? My parents have been out of town and, with it just being me here, I’m living off of cereal and grocery-store sushi even though I make great things when I’m cooking for someone else, too. You’d think I’d rather make something yummy and not have to share it when I’m on my own. Is this just me?

8. It’s just about the most fun ever to get the mail when there’s a couple cute RSVP cards awaiting your arrival every day.

9. I’m debating what I should do with all of my extraneous belongings like books and clothes and such. I’ve been thinking about making some sort of online store via facebook, or maybe setting up an Amazon seller’s page or something. Basically, a virtual garage sale. Do any of you have any experience doing something like this? Any brilliant ideas for me?

 

 

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6 Things My Mom is Notorious For

  1. Getting front-row parking spots
    I have no idea how she manages this. For years, she consistently gets parking spots in the very front row. All the time. It’s ridiculous.
  2. Cooking without recipes
    My family has coined the term “Tarla Originals” when my mom makes an awesome meal without a recipe.”Wow, this is delicious! How’d you make it?”
    “Uh, well, I just took one thing and threw a bunch of stuff I thought would go well in with it.”
    “Oh. Did you write down what you used so you can remake it?”
    “Uh, no…”Seriously – my mom just has this extra sense of knowing what stuff goes together. On the rare occasion she has no idea how to cook some weird meat or vegetable, she always asks around and looks it up and then makes it delicious anyway. Some of her skill of cooking without a cookbook has been passed down to me. I’m not as confident with it yet, but I’ve thrown together some yummy stuff. The problem comes when I want to make something like my momma’s pot roast or some classic Tarla dinner and she can’t really give me a recipe to imitate it. This is tragic and special all in its own way.
  3. Being resourceful
    This is one of the most beneficial skills my mother has taught me. She’s taught me that if don’t have what I need, find a way to either get it or makeshift it or find it. One example of this is when I was learning multiplication tables. I just couldn’t get down the instantaneous memorization of every multiplication tables, but I know lots of little tricks of finding out (other than using a calculator). Just last night, I had an issue that her resourcefulness helped fix: I recently reformatted my computer, but forgot to have my boyfriend re-install Microsoft Office (he has my copies), so I don’t have Word or PowerPoint or anything I need to work on any of my big school projects coming up next week. Her idea was to check to see if there are any available free trials to download until I can get my copies again. And there was. Perfection. Another example: Shirt wrinkled when I walk into work? Use the milk steamer on our cappuccino machine to steam the wrinkles out.She has always shown and taught me her resourcefulness. This has got her so far, and I know that what she has taught me will get me far, too.
  4. Thinking big
    Seriously. My mom always has ideas. Big, scary ideas. Ideas I could never come up with. She is brilliant and innovative, and it’s like a game to her to try and figure out how to make her big things happen.
  5. Being brave
    This is how she gets her big ideas into action. My momma is so brave. She’s been through so much, and she’s still always on her feet, always finding some way to play, and always moving forward. Her business and mission (which revolves around revolutionizing homeschooling and education in general) have both involved hard journeys that have involved a lot of criticism and drama. The stories she tells me about things people say and do regarding her mission and business astound me and I know I could never have the strength to carry on through the things she’s gone through and fought against. My mom rocks, and you better not try and stop her.
  6. Being the best mom ever
    This couldn’t be more true. For all of the reasons listed above and more, my mom is the best. She’s raised me – ME. I don’t know if you’re aware but I’m a BIG HANDFUL to handle, and boy have I put her through a lot (shout out to my teenage years?). She supports and encourages me no matter what. She’s always the one I call when I need help with anything. She’s great under pressure and I know I can tell her any situation I may need help in (emergencies, tickets, car accidents, fights with friends, etc).

My mom is just amazing, beautiful, brilliant, resourceful, strong, hilarious, and awesome. I can’t even tell you.

That’s my Momma on the left, and her best friend on the right. =]

(Pssst. Go hug your mom!)

Excuses (and How to Defeat Them)

We all have them. Excuses are all examples of “we are our own worst enemy/most difficult obstacle.” And it’s a particularly tricky situation because excuses are us passing up the blame for why our life isn’t the way we want it to be onto some other person, experience, or circumstance. However, there is a way to defeat them! The famous quote, “with great power comes great responsibility” is very applicable to you and your life.You are capable of making your life exactly what you want it to be. You have that power and, therefore, you have that responsibility.

The first thing you should do is write down your excuses. Go ahead and indulge yourself by coming up with every reason you can possibly think is a culprit responsible for sabotaging your diet, New Year’s resolution, cleaning schedule, organization of your closet, plan to cook through Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking, and any other goal or plan you may have set. Then, really look at them and determine which is a legitimate reason or cause, and which is you justifying your lack of follow through. For example, if you’re not going on a run four days a week like you resolved to on New Years because you’re six months pregnant, that’s obviously legitimate. That’s okay. That’s good, even. But if you’re not going on your run because you’d have to wake up at 7 or 8 am and you like to stay up until 1 or 2 in the morning, that’s an excuse. If your run or goal is important to you, you will find a way to accomplish it.

Here are some of the most prominent excuses I have myself, and I know a lot of you can relate to several of them:

I don’t have time.
Ah, yes. Time. It is definitely the most scarce commodity in our world today. I go to school full time, work, and try to have a life. To many, this work and stress load would be a dream. I can’t imagine working full-time, putting effort into a marriage/partner relationship, raising children, planning (and paying for) a wedding, or anything else you crazy people have on your plates (sometimes all at one time!).

The way to defeat this excuse is to know that chances are you do have time. And also start with realistic goals. you may not be able to commit two hours at the gymn everyday, but the hour or two you spent catching up on your shows? I highly recommend you invest in a way to record them. If you want to get in better shape, record them and go to the gymn. Or, if you can’t or won’t have another time to catch up on them later, teach yourself to hoop dance while watching them (it’s what I do), invest in some dumbbells and lift while watching, do jumping jacks during the commercial breaks. 

If you’re trying to work towards incorporating a time of peace to meditate everyday – which is really important and so very beneficial – then commit to starting small. Our world is constantly moving, beeping, rushing, talking, and advertising. Start with five or ten minutes of quiet meditation a day. Turn your phone on silent in another room, turn off the TV, ask your partner to watch the kids. You can do anything for ten minutes. You’ll love it, too. If your goal is to say, cook more dinners at home, cut down on time for tomorrow’s meal by prepping during commercial breaks or watching on a TV in your kitchen if you have one. (my goodness, I could write a whole post on this topic itself!)

I’m not in the mood.
This one’s easy, but so difficult as well. The answer is: just do  it. Unless you’re sick or something – take care of yourself and recover. But if you push yourself to reach your goal, you will come out the other side feeling better about yourself, your capability, and your ability to complete other goals. Accomplishing a goal, meditation, and exercise all release endorphins, which make you happy. 

I’m not prepared.
Take steps in advance to prepare yourself! Keep a bag of spare gymn clothes and shoes in your car and just leave it there. When you have some time while you’re out, you’ll have everything you need to run to the gymn after class or work!

I don’t have the energy.
Push yourself. You can do hard things. You will have more energy after your work out. You will sleep better and have more energy tomorrow, as well. You will feel renewed and more calm after your mediation – which will aid in increased clarity of thought, better channeling of energy, and more restful sleep. However, also take notice and pay attention to what your body’s telling you. If you worked out hard yesterday, perhaps allow yourself a rest day. Turn down the phone for a few minutes once you’ve climbed into bed and get some peace and quiet that night. Honestly, it’s important to push yourself when you don’t feel like it, but if you’re sick or recovering or sleep deprived, pushing yourself may be counter-productive than allowing your body time to recover and heal. 

I’ve already been doing poorly today; I’ll just start tomorrow.
This may be the excuse I run into most. And the fact is that, although it’s tempting – and easier – to continue and “start tomorrow,” but what is important in this scenario is to forgive yourself and not freak out, punish yourself, or beat yourself up for what you’ve already done. It’s too late to change how your day started, but it’s Never too late to finish strong.  

part II coming soon

“Never believe that evil little person that says in your ear, ‘I’ll start my diet tomorrow.’ When you hear that voice come in your head, believe me, that person’s out to kill you.” — Super Size vs Super Skinny – Season 3, Episode 1

Consider My Fingers Crossed.

Crossed for the next two days to pass quickly (Christmas break!).
Crossed for not failing my two tests on Friday (AP History and Honors Chem).
Crossed for  my brain to start functioning again (it’s stopped in anticipation of Christmas break).
Crossed for landing a good role in the Spring musical (the Sound of Music!).
Crossed for a good Winter (not like last year).
Crossed for my Christmas wishes (I’ve got quiet a few).
Crossed for a really great social life during break (Hayley Joy, Deanna, Neal, Danike, movies, cooking, Brent, shopping…).
Crossed for snow days (we haven’t had any yet this year!).
Crossed for my Christmas list (mostly consisting of a ceramic curling iron, gift cards, and books).
Crossed for a good Solo and Ensemble performance (even though it’s in January).
Crossed for raising my grades (Two A’s, but I need to get my two B’s up…).
Crossed for a chance to organize my school notebooks and binders ASAP (all my school stuff is in one three-subject notebook).
Crossed for my varsity jacket (it’s ready, but my mom wont’ give it to me until Christmas – because it’s not like I need a winter coat before then, before halfway through the winter, not like it’s seven degrees farenheit or anything).
Crossed that my mom will be happier this Winter (this time of year has been hard for everyone since her dad died).
Crossed that the people that I can’t get enough of couldn’t get enough of me (it has been improving…).
Crossed for crazy amounts of photo shoots over break (I swear, I’m so itchy for some.)

Crossed for being able to uncross them.