Saturday, October 22, 2016

So If I Look Sad, Remind Me To Inhale

Matthew Inman, creator of The Oatmeal, wrote in a post that creativity is like breathing. That one has to take in creativity/inspirations/ideas in order to produce new thoughts/art/projects. That one is just as important and valid as the other. Holy crap, right?! Like, how had I not recognized that correlation before?

Going a step further, I think I'm starting to recognize this antsy, panicky feeling I sometimes get--the one that makes me want to simultaneously balance my checkbook and hide in a closet--may actually be a craving to take in creativity. It feels like I'm suffocating, but not for air, for new ideas. It's like if you breathe out, all the way out, and then keep breathing out, more, push out just a little more air, from the very bottom of your lungs, hurry, keep breathing out, OH MY GOD WHAT ARE YOU DOING YOU'RE WASTING PRECIOUS TIME, BREATHE OUT FASTER. And then I curl up in an unproductive ball of sadness and despair because I no longer have any ideas. About anything. At all.

So today, after a trip downtown to go Trick or Treating with the kids, an hour or so of checkbook balancing, and some time checking my various e-mail accounts, I'm going to go surf Pinterest, and listen to a thousand small business podcasts and maybe read a blog (or 6).

Sunday, November 15, 2015


Mark and I are home on vacation for five days, two of which we are kid free!!  We could be kicking back with our feet up. Sitting in the kiddie pool with giant margaritas and watching the clouds float by. Or, more likely, we could be snuggled under a comforter reading, or sinking hours into a computer game, navigating an exotic planet and scoring some sweet XP.

Instead, we're remodeling the master bedroom!!!!! I once read that the number of exclamation points relates conversely to the writer's sincerity.  I'm just saying, the margarita sounds awesome.

But honestly, it's going pretty well. Two of the walls were covered in dated seashell wallpaper and we got both stripped yesterday. Then we painted the whole room this morning. It is AMAZING what you can get done when your kids have been farmed out.
The original wallpaper.

The stripped walls.
Choosing paint color is always hard for me. It seems so arbitrary. "Here are a million light blue paint colors. While standing in the brightly lit paint aisle at Home Depot, go pick the perfect one." But we agreed on a bright, pretty blue.

Next, Mark is working on a pair of desk consoles that will go on either side of the bed. Soon I'll have my own desk!!!  Eventually. we will build a matching bed frame and then a bridge between the consoles. When it's done it will look like a built-in shelving unit.

In the mean time, we'll just enjoy our pretty blue room!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

October Happened

Mercy! It's been a while since I posted anything!  I have a post about my current weekly planner in the hopper, but it's waiting for photos.  And a lot of the daily things I could write about get posted in short snippets to my Facebook page.  Maybe I could transition from Facebook to here?  But then I would have to share my blog with my family and friends and so far it's been nice musing to myself (and my Mom and Aunt, hi guys!).

I have been thinking a lot about social media lately as I get ready to try my hand at a real estate career!!! This has been in the works for a while now, My step-father encouraged me to get my license way back in the spring, handing over a stack of bills to pay for the course and license. I took the 63 hour course in September and passed my state exam on October 3rd.  I interviewed a couple brokerages last month and I'm waiting to see if one more broker is recruiting and possibly set an appointment with her this week.  After that, I make a decision about which agency to sign with and start training!

I've always wanted to work in real estate. I've applied and interviewed for admin positions at several firms over the years, but I never thought I would have the opportunity to work as an agent because the start up cost is prohibitive.  Getting the opportunity and support from my family is amazing.  I've always known I would be great at the paperwork end of real estate--bank deadlines are probably pretty similar to court deadlines--but I'm super excited to start building my sales skills.  I've seen how private attorneys build up their businesses by building up a network of past clients and contacts.  I've done the legwork for marketing to that base, as well as assisting with marketing to new prospects, but now I'll be doing all that with my face, and my name, instead of on behalf of someone else.  It's exciting!


Ok, enough boring work stuff!  I couldn't do an October post without a Halloween picture!

We went to Boo at the Zoo with my cousin, Jacob's, family the week before Halloween.  The boys always have a blast with their cousins, Audrey and Lorelei.  The girls were each born a few months before our boys, so they all pal around in a (loud) pack of humans under 4 feet tall.  As a bonus, Jacob's wife, April, and I get along very well and have extremely cathartic conversations about how weird interesting little kids are.  (Note to self: call April and set up another Mom Date.) 

Friday, August 15, 2014

Time Is Money People (Also, The Conclusion to My 24 Day Fitness Challenge)

I'm having trouble committing to a shower.  It seems like an awfully large time sink.  Like, with the showering and the dressing and the hair...doing...?  I mean, I already wasted an easy 2.5 minutes finding clothes to put on after my shower.  Maybe I should pace myself; find adult clothes today, take the shower tomorrow, get dressed on Sunday?

In the old days I would just throw myself in the shower with feckless abandon.  No planning, not prep work.  But that was when I could leave my bathroom wrapped in a towel and still be in my bedroom.  And there's nothing like nakedness to inspire you to find some damn clothes and get dressed.

Life is hard...........


Originally my post ended there, quailing about the struggle that is personal hygiene.  Then I glanced back a couple posts and realized I never concluded my epic 24 DAY CHALLENGE story arc.  And I thought, 'Eh, I'll post about it tomorrow.' But then, THEN, I realized maybe I just had posted about it.  One day 3 of the challenge I mentioned to Mark how nice it was to feel ... energized again.  I felt like doing dishes and standard self-care was totally doable and not a terrible hassle at all.  Part of it was the caffeine energy supplement that comes with the program.  I told Mark it was like self-control in a bottle.  I drank half a serving before breakfast and another before lunch and it gave me that tiny bit of oomph I needed to make a healthy lunch, instead of mac-n-cheese or drive through.  The healthy lunch carried over to an afternoon spent folding laundry and sweeping the kitchen with barely a thought to how much trouble it all was.  My sink was empty, the clean clothes were put away, and I had a clearer head.

It turns out 24 days is, like, 2.75 more days than I can really take myself seriously.  So I ate cookies on day 23 and had coffee on day 24.  But I did both of those things while sitting in a pair of size 16 shorts that no longer felt like they were squeezing the life out of me.  

In all I lost 7 pounds, an inch and a half around my chest, an inch around my thigh, and dropped a pant size.  I'm really happy with the results (though at first I was discouraged, as I had secretly hoped for more.)  

I know my weak spot is activity, I tried jogging and gave myself a heat induced migraine; and I only did 2 days of yoga consistently.  So I know where to concentrate my effort.  

This is what I do every morning.
You would not believe how much my flexibility has improved - I can now do the forward fold with my palms flat on the floor.
 If you have more time you can hold each pose for 20 or 30 seconds.
Yoga Bunny originally by Brian Russo
Honestly, who can say no to bunny yoga?
Yoga Bunny originally by Brian Russo
I'm really looking forward to re-ordering the energy supplement and the primary weight-loss supplements and refocusing after my mom's visit next week.  And do a dish or three...

Sunday, July 27, 2014

A Note From the Boys dictated by Will.

Will and Jack made this car track. The pink is a park. The brown is Jack's house. The white is a parking lot, airport and sidewalk. The brown triangles are a mountain for hiking. And the blue is Will's house.

He made it with paper, scissors, cars and pens. And he could do it all by his brain and because he is very creative.

And Jack helped turn it over.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Day 1 - Fitness Challenge!

Mark and I started a fitness challenge on Sunday.  On Day 1 of the challenge, the program asks you to weigh-in and get some starting measurements.  My starting stats are as follows:

Weight: 218 lbs (!!!!!!!!)
Chest: 47 inches
Waist: 40 inches
Hips: 47 inches
Thigh: 25 inches

We also took some pictures for comparison.  Holy crap, y'all, I'm huge.  My 'before' pictures reveal that I have the body type of a bullfrog.  I asked Mark why he loves a bullfrog.  He was confused.*  You will not get the before pictures unless and until I have crazy good after pictures to show with them.  In the mean time google photos of bullfrogs, imagine them with blonde hair, and squint a little--you will get the idea.

Per the CDC, for my height, "a normal weight range would be from 108 to 145 pounds."  While I have no intention of getting down to 108 lbs (or even 145, for that matter), I suppose the gap between where I am and where I should be (73 POUNDS!) has grown a bit ... excessive.  I'm hoping by the end of 24 days--the duration of the intensive challenge--I'll have built up enough momentum to get me looking less amphibian.

The first day on the challenge I had a migraine in the evening, so I halved the portion of the energy drink we're using, and today (day 3) I feel much better.  I hope to get back out to the jogging track tomorrow so I can see some real progress!

Wish me luck!

*Mark recently changed his phone's text alert so that when I send him a message Hanz, from Frozen, says, "I LOVE CRAZY!"  Mark is mean.  He's not wrong, and I'm glad he has embraced his lot in life, but he's also mean.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

A Down and Dirty List of Ways to Make some Quick Cash

Mark and I started listening to Dave Ramsy's book The Total Money Makeover.  I'll blog about our journey later, but today I'm working on Baby Step #1: Sock Away $1,000 FAST.  So here is a brainstorm of ways I could make money fast:
  1. Part time job (tricky, juggling the kids and avoiding daycare expenses, but possible)
    1. MikAm Landscaping - hourly pay
    2. Wood Wizardry - commission per project
    3. Retail? Service? 
    4. LeapForce
    5. CloudTen; GSI
  2. Full time job - the kids go back to daycare
  3. Sell stuff on Craigslist 
    1. List/Sell Mike's inventory; collect commission
    2. List/Sell other people's items; collect commission
    3. List/Sell our own stuff
      1. Nissan Sentra????
      2. kegerator
      3. ...damn we got rid of a lot of crap last year....
  4. Sell stuff on Pinterest/Famer's Market/Craft Fair
    1. wood rings
    2. Yoga May bags
    3. sewing/decorating bags
    4. mehndi-ish design on clothes, bags, etc...
    5. planners .pdf
    6. paper mache
      1. ornaments
      2. mobile
    7. Canvases; balsa; prints
  5. Real Estate - taking the course in June
  6. Sell e-books
  7. Photography/selling stock photos - I'm wicked scared of putting myself out there as any kind of photographer, but I really like taking pictures and I think I could be good at it...
  8. Babysit
  9. Face painting - seems far fetched, but maybe contract with a party company in town?
  10. Mystery Shopper - research
  11. Virtual Assistant - research
  12. Shadow Jury - research
  13. Freelance writing - research guru, elance and odesk
  14. Data entry - research  virtual bee and HEA Employment
  15. Substitute teaching
  16. Fiverr
  17. Mechanical Turk; survey - research Pinecone