Friday, January 30, 2015

Just A Pinch

I know, I know... It's been almost 9 months since my last blog. And while I can say with a decent amount of certainty that no one even noticed... I do apologize.

If you connect with me on Facebook, you may have notice my presence has decreased drastically lately. (If you don't & haven't, you probably won't understand what this post is shining light on simply because you're likely not on FB too terribly often & are removed from these issues. Count yourself lucky. But I digress...)

Why, you ask?

1 simple realization...
I joined FB to be able to connect to family I didn't get to see regularly. And while I've been able to continue to meet this goal on a fairly regular basis, I've watched as this platform was twisted and disfigured into the war-mongering, life-force siphoning society & intelligence destroyer it is today. People argue & cyber-bully / attack people they don't even know on the simple grounds of feeling their opinion is superior. People have lost "common sense" societal filters of basic communication which guided us to when it was appropriate to share our opinions & when it was best to keep it to ourselves. We're told we no longer need to edit ourselves for content, accuracy, intelligence, or courtesy. True individual thought has been replaced with an illusion planted by people who refuse to acknowledge that a differing opinion or perspective doesn't need to be squashed out of intellectual existence. Because one person's research & education have lead them down one path, they refuse to acknowledge the basic fact that other people may use different research & education and have been lead down another, much different trek; and, instead of working to find middle ground or simply letting bygones be bygones, I see far too many people insisting, no, demanding that everyone must agree with them or else they should be shamed, ridiculed and figuratively crucified. People have died because another person's ego became so over-inflated by social media that they no longer felt the need to treat other people with kindness, courtesy, and common sense.

The Facebook generation: killing common sense consideration of other people, propagating the illusion & inflation of individual self-importance, and encouraging arguments via uneducated and ill-informed users using fear mongering, harassing and demeaning posts since 2004.

Now don't get me wrong- I'm not saying the whole system needs to be torn down to the studs. My profile will remain up for the people who actually care what's going on with the kids, the few games I play, etc. But I won't be reading posts spewing venom, hatred and ignorance in my news feed. I will scroll past this drama without batting a lash and be at peace with that action. I'm moving back to why I made a profile to begin with- to share love with my family & friends.

Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality. Romans 12:19-21

This author sums it up much better than I ever could...
How social media is destroying our society By Chemory Gunko
It's not scientific. There's no algorithm supporting facts in this article. But just read the words and think about posts you've seen that you could swear each "sin" was written with it in mind. I guarantee you'll realize there's more than your brain can fathom once you see it fully. This is a problem. A habit. One that can easily be broken by simply not feeding into the beast.

I invite you to join me in moving away from the corruption of social media enthusiasts to begin healing people and relationships. Facebook should be about connecting, not dominating; sharing love, not hate; and communicating, not finger-pointing, arguing, demeaning & destroying. Think before you post. If you don't like what someone has posted- scroll on, or hide the post so you won't stumble upon that someone's dung-pile post again. Don't fall victim to the temptation of feeding this beast. There's a better way to make a difference in the world than by empty posts; it starts with courtesy, caring, a pinch of common sense, and a dash of manners.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

The "Marinara Incident" Life Lesson

Meet "my shoes".

I loved these shoes.
Let me repeat that - I LOVED these shoes!

I purchased these shoes about 2 years ago. 
Now, before all of you runners out there start in on how running/walking shoes should be replaced every 3 months or so... y'all know me better than that. When I find a pair I truly love, I will wear them until they fall apart! So don't waste your breath.

Somewhere around last August these shoes began to bite my feet.
Yes, you read that right. And if you're a runner/walker, you know exactly what I mean.
I thought I would have to break down and get a new pair until one of the girls in my class mentioned that she wore hers untied when they started doing that.
Great idea!! (See how the laces are interlaced at the top- adjustable slip-ons. Love it!)

 So now I've worn these this way, untied, since.

In February, we learned our local K-Mart was closing, so I happened to pick up a pretty purple pair of shoes discounted to have on hand, awaiting the day I would finally cave and give up on "my shoes".
Then today happened.

Let me start with- at 5:45 I realized I'd fallen asleep without switching my washed clothes to the dryer.  AHHH!  I quickly throw one outfit into the dryer to run while I showered.  Crisis averted.
A bunch of us carpool to our current clinical site and today I volunteered to drive. Halfway from the meeting point to our clinical site I realize I'd forgotten my lunch at home.  AHHH! Damn, guess I'm not eating until 2:30 today. *Sigh*
One of the girls mentioned pizza during post-conference. May I say: YUM! So I swung by the store and got a personal pizza and some breadsticks. Scarfed the pizza in the car and started on the breadsticks as I pulled into the driveway. T-minus 30 minutes until I needed to be at Liam's school to get a decent parking space. Walk in the house with everything in balance... then this happened:

Well, I should say, pictured is the aftermath of what happened. It wasn't until I was finishing cleaning it up that it occurred to me that I really needed to blog this.
"What is that?" you ask yourself?
"Why is this significant?" you ponder?
This is why...
Yep. That's right. My little container of marinara decided to take a swan dive off my perfectly balanced armful and splatter into a huge mess all over the floor, breakfast bar wall, my jeans, and yes, "my shoes".

As my anxiety level climbed, I slid "my shoes" off and examined them... top & bottom covered in marinara. I felt panic beginning to rise, but then I took a deep breath and decided this was God's way of telling me to let go of "my shoes" and to move on to "the new shoes".

Amazingly, today my clinical partner and I had discussed holding on to the past.
My exact words to her were: "If you hold on to the past, you'll never be able to grab the future."
Funny how that came full circle within a 2.5 hour period of time.

Here's to you Julie.
Here they are... "the new shoes" that shall, from this day forth, be known as "my shoes"...
at least until another "marinara incident".

Friday, February 28, 2014

A Cause Worth Giving To | February Linked

This month has been a whirlwind, to put it lightly!  Between school, clinical, tests, playtime with the kids, Liam starting Tae Kwon Do & Brian's schedule- we've barely had a moment to breath.  So I'm afraid this month's "giving back" blog will be short and sweet- much like the little girl it's about.

On February 13th, Brian's grandmother was called to God's side to rejoin her husband for Valentine's day after being apart 24 years. We, actually I, dreaded telling Liam the news since he is definitely old enough to understand what we were saying. To my relief, he asked if she was with God now and said that he was going to "miss her a lot" but was glad she was with God. Death and illness are not generally topics we think our kids will face head on until later in life, unless it's a family member. We have a fairly close-knit community here, especially within our in-subdivision school.  When I heard about a girl named Madi at Liam's school, I just about cried. Terminal illness isn't something a child should have to face head on.

Meet Madi.
She's fighting back!!

From her page: "Madi Beetham was living a normal very active life of a 10 year old until January 26th, 2014. Madi was active in dance, basketball, softball, cheerleading and crossfit. That night a symptom of what would later be diagnosed as B Lymphoblastic Lymphoma would present itself. The following 2 weeks would be a whirlwind of tests and biopsies to bring about a final diagnosis. It has been diagnosed as a stage 4 Lymphoblastic lymphoma. This severe staging is due to central nervous system involvement (brain). We still have a very good chance of beating this and getting her back to a vibrant, energetic beautiful girl. Madi has been exceptionally upbeat and positive through the initial stages so far. We look to you for help and support to assist her through remainder of her 2+ year battle."

Please support or donate at Madi Beetham's Victory Fund

This month's linked blog: Mom's blog - The D's and the Dogs

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

I'm Currently... | February Linked

First off, I would like to welcome Lindy, the newest link addition to our "chain". Welcome!

This month we decided to do an "I'm currently..." blog, so here goes-
Resolving :: to focus on my family and our accomplishments and to care less what other people think or how they choose to act & treat others.

Wondering :: when healthy began to equate to only being thin? It certainly is NOT always the case!

Anticipating :: the next couple of weeks of my clinical rotation (I'm really looking forward to my O.R. rotation day- I can't wait!!), Mom and Ma W. coming for a visit, birthday parties   and cake baking; all in the next 3 weeks!

Worrying :: about my husband's grandmother and about our next exam coming up on Monday.
(This image is a perfect representation of nursing school exams!)

Eating :: nothing at the moment, but drinking a caramel cappuccino. Yum!

Making :: valentines with Liam for school.

Remembering :: I need to compile a grocery list for when we get paid this week- time to stock up!

Celebrating :: finally being completely caught up with bills and take care of needed maintenance on our vehicles- it's my first "payday" of the year this week! lol ;-)

For more fun "I'm currently..." blogs, you can view my Mom's blog at: The D's and the Dogs,
Melissa's blog at: Growing Like Weeds, and Lindy's blog at: Candid Negative

Friday, January 31, 2014

January RAK & Giving Back | Linked

I told my Mom I wasn't sure what I was going to write about this time. We haven't been in a financial state to necessarily "do" RAKs. Shoot, I've barely have enough in the house until today to round out our own meals let alone baking something for neighbors, etc... so this might be pretty short.

Some nice things we've been able to do:
1. Exchange daycare while I'm at school for providing daycare so my friend can hit the gym.
(She got an AMAZING deal on her membership, we can't let that go to waste, can we?)

2. Helped friends of ours control the chaos at their son's "at home" birthday party.
(Let's face it, having eleven 6- & 7-year olds running around your house with Nerf guns is enough to make anyone question their sanity; so we were happy they asked us to hang around & help out.)

3. My husband accompanied his brother to the emergency room earlier last week.
(Long story short- 19yo not driving for the conditions swerves & rear-ends him. Whiplash.)

4. After one of the snow storms earlier this month, my husband helped one of the neighbors that was stuck in their own driveway shovel one car out & then loaned them one of our shovels so they could finish their driveway.
(Yeah, let's just say that won't be happening again. You live in the Midwest yet you don't even own a shovel, or a pair of gloves for that matter? And then when a neighbor helps you & loans you the equipment, you don't even bother to finish your driveway or sidewalks? Yeah, no. You can stay stuck next time. [Yes, I know that's not very nice, but I don't tolerate feeling "used" too well... but that's a topic for a whole other blog.])

Some nice things we've been blessed with:
1. Unfailing friendship from Heather & RJ.
2. Continued opportunities to bond & grow closer to our new friends Shannon & Chris.
3. Reconnecting with & finding new connections with our old re-enacting friend Jenny.
4. Reacquiring our friend Shanna back into the gaming fold. (Hopefully before she moves in May, we'll have her so addicted that she'll Skype in every weekend she's available & bring Beth with her!)

For more ideas on random acts of kindness, you can view my Mom's blog at: The D's and the Dogs 
and Melissa's blog at: Growing Like Weeds.

Friday, January 24, 2014

No Longer My Baby

Do you see this?

"No, what am I suppose to be seeing?"

Here's a close up... take a good look... what do you see?

Nothing. The answer is a "nothing".
This is an empty space much like many others. So what's so special about this empty space?
Only moments before I took these pictures, this space was occupied by an item that's been a part of our family for almost seven years.
A crib.

In a way, this empty space signifies an ending of an era; the ending of a significant stage in our lives. The boy used the crib from day one and only fell out twice when we converted it to a toddler bed after moving into our house. He moved into his "big boy" twin bed the Christmas before the baby arrived, at which time she laid claim to the crib. She used the crib up until last October, when she decided it was no longer good enough for her and she moved herself into her twin bed. The crib has remained in her room ever since, unoccupied.
While we've decided we're done consciously attempting to add little ones to our family, banishing the crib to the basement made it feel so... well, final.

I find some consolation in the idea that in a few months the crib will gain new life as we are gifting it to family members.

The realization that my baby is no longer that is a difficult pill to swallow. As we approach her 3rd birthday with the boy's 7th birthday just a couple weeks after, I'm finding the necessity to accept my baby is now my "little girl" more and more unavoidable. Some days she flat-out surprises me with the complexity and maturity of things she says and does.

So while the absence of the crib has created an empty space, I'm enjoying the prospect of playtime, adventures and imaginative creativity that will occupy this space in the years to come.
And I know that no matter how big she may grow and how mature she may be...
She will always be my baby girl.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Details, details...

I apologize.
It's not often I write a rant for a blog, but I just have to do this... so please- buckle up & hold on!
Have you ever found yourself on a page or reading a physical article that looked to be highly promising only to end up disappointed by the lack of care the author put into the little details of their blog or article?  
What little details?
Spelling and grammar.

I don't know about you, but when someone doesn't care enough to take the time to spell words correctly or to use proper grammar, it's difficult for me to take them seriously. I'm talking when I expect a bit of professionalism.

I find it hard to justify my heeding the author's advice, taking their challenge, trying their idea or sharing their thoughts if they can't be bothered to make sure their article or blog is polished before publication.

I'm very entertained by George Takei on Facebook and his posts and comments about grammar and spelling. I'm amazed at the number of people who end up looking foolish trying to justify excessive misspellings and horrendous grammar.  Don't get me wrong, I've had my fair share of auto-correct mishaps, but I go back to edit and correct the error, because I know better! Most people write/type how they speak because this is how the brain works; but I find it extremely hard to think highly of someone who can't differentiate between:
through, thru and threw
their, they're and there
your and you're
know and no
...there's a number of others I've seen in excess the past few weeks.  But the final straw came today as I was reading a blog trying to give people budget advice. The blogger starts with an "ad" for people to follow their Facebook page that "over 25,000" already like. The author then goes into the main point, excluding a multitude of helpful information. About halfway through the article, the author misspells three words in a two-sentence span. Not only had they not gone back to correct the error, but the fact that the misspellings were so blatantly obvious (examples listed above) made it clear to me that the blogger just didn't care. It really made me feel like the blogger had their "high traffic volume" and was only trying to build a larger following, so they didn't feel the need to keep up with a semi-professional standard of actually reviewing the post. It was abundantly clear where their priorities sat.

I understand that blogs are peoples way to get ideas out there, that very few who blog are professional writers, that not everyone has had the same level of education, and most certainly not a great number of people find pride in the attention to this kind of detail to even care that these errors can discredit a writer's reputation... but really? Having that many regular readers, how do people not feel the need to take their blogging to the next level of casual professionalism? I find it disappointing and disrespectful that people who have such a large following and are peddling advice don't have the common sense to even edit their posts before clicking the "publish" button, or to go back and review their posts for that matter.
Is it seriously all about people getting their fifteen minutes of fame and not caring about reputation?
What ever happened to taking pride in one's work?
What ever happened to doing a job right?

Now for a bit of humor...

If you've made it here, to the end, I appreciate you letting me get this off my chest.
I have a very small following... but I truly appreciate all five of you. (haha)
Every now and then we need to put things out there that really bother us, even if we know no one (or very few) will read them, so we don't have to think about them anymore.