Thursday, August 30, 2007

28 for 28

I'm not getting this out as soon as I'd hoped. I've been working on it for my birthday and wanted to get it out then, but life made things interesting this week. It is one of those weeks that makes you reflect on your life and everything any, so I'm still going to post this. Maybe posting this publicly will make some of these goals more tangible for me. There are some easy ones and some hard ones here and we'll see what gets done. There is one unlisted goal here though - not feel guilty if I don't complete this list. Guilt is something that comes to easy to me anyway, so this is a guilt-free goal list for my 28th year.

1. Finish the scrapbook album I'm working on. (didn't quite manage this one)

2. Not use purell for one whole week (this is tougher than it sounds for me). (didn't quite manage this one either)

3. Where makeup to work 50% of the time (as opposed to the almost zero now). (I did manage to increase it but it didn't get that high)

4. Don't go to bed without doing the dishes. (again progress but not 100%)

5. Clean the oven. (It really needs it!) (check - although it needs it again and I avoided the heavy chemicals it really needs)

6. Go apple picking. (sort of? We made it to the orchard but the apples were mostly plucked already)

7. Get up by 8:00am most days. (I HATE getting up. I don't hate mornings so much but getting up is SO hard for me to do, especially when I set my own hours). (HAHAHAHA)

8. Recommit to gym attendence. (A possible goal: Run a mile! Ugh. I've never really done that ever so it seems like a good thing to try to do.) (Yes! and then a bit of No, but then a Yes! again)

9. Take my lunch to work for a whole week. (Nope, not this one)

10. Order pizza only once per month. (I didn't keep track although I tried to reduce it)

11. Lose weight - maybe 5 lbs per month? (nothing significant or lasting, baah)

12. Reduce caffiene consumption. (Maybe even to be able to give it up entirely during Lent?) (Yay! A success! I'm down to a diet coke every couple of days now!)

13. Watch TV only when there is something I am interested in on. (Thanks to TIVO and a busy schedule this is improved)

14. Win league in Fantasy Football (or at least have a decent showing). (I didn't do so hot in last year's league but I have two attempts started for this year.)

15. Learn to cook (and eat) chicken without paranoia (its a long story but let's leave it at I'm crazy). (Tiffany made me cook some on vacation in December and I have been eating it much better lately so I'm counting this a success)

16. Have a date with my husband once a week, even if it is just at home. (Made it most weeks even if it was informal)

17. Take a community ed course. - possibly guitar lessons? (Never got around too it, hopefully this year?)

18. Keep my new car clean. (Another sometime victory...right now it needs cleaning though)

19. Get my golf clubs and go golfing. (I did this - much to the amusement of everyone on the course)

20. Make my husband (and me!) soft pretzels from scratch. (Not yet)

21. Eat breakfast most days of the week (this may kill me). (Improving)

22. Stay in better contact with friends and family. (Also Improving)

23. Visit a state/country I've never been to. (I went to Argentina - so yup!)

24. Throw a dinner party just because. (nope, Adult social FAIL! LOL)

25. Support, love and have patience with my husband through his final year of law school and the bar exam. (I suppose I should ask Mr. Goat but I think I did well!)

26. Take more pictures and organize them in some way. (More pictures - check, organization? - not so much)

27. Go on a train ride with my husband. (The zoo train in Milwaukee will have to count although I hope to go on the fall trip this year)

28. Create an easy and organized way to keep track of paperwork. (I may need help figuring this out!) (Sort of but I got lax again)

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Shit.

That best defines my day.

Shit. Part I
I'm floored by the possible cancer that one of my friends is facing. She is pregnant and has a 1 year old son. Just Saturday we were celebrating his birthday. While she told me that they found a lump in her side at her ultrasound and that she should get it looked at, I NEVER imagined it might be that c-word we all dread. Given how hard it has been for me to think about anything else today I can't imagine what is on her mind waiting to meet with the surgeon tomorrow. (Emilie you are in all our prayers!)

Shit. Part II
And in spite of my strong desire to drop everything to be there for my friend, work goes on. Rally Day is less that two weeks away and I'm busy calling people all the time. This time of year makes me so FRUSTRATED. No one wants to teach Sunday School. Of course, they all think Sunday School is important, but they want nothing to do with it. In the act of calling I find out which people are considering leaving our church (often before the pastors). I don't know if it is me or something else. They never say. Maybe it is just a function of the church shopping attitude our culture has adopted.


"Come to my church, we have a spa and fitness center. You can work out while you worship."

"Come to we have wide screens and lazy-boy pews"

"We have guilt-free Sunday School, just drop off your kids and consider it free day care!"

It makes me so mad to hear all the no's. I understand and I don't. I understand being exhausted and wanting a break from all that you do during the week. I understand wanting a break from the "cherubs" that you call your preschoolers. But all I want is some help in teaching them why Sunday is important...cuz it is remember. Jesus. Died for sins. Grace of God. etc. Remember? But that is best done by me alone I suppose. I'm feel like I'm steps away from taking all 100+ kids - 3 yr old to 5th grade and putting them in one room with just me teaching them, because honestly, that might be easier to pull off. Step up people. This is ministry and the faith of your children at stake here not just a chance for an hour by yourself.

And still I feel trivial to complain about this today. It seems like this month has been full of BIG things. Big news, Big scares, Big expenses. I'm ready for some calm, some peace, some normalcy and I'm guessing I'm not alone.

LORD, take care of my friend. Take care of the exhausted parents out there trying to do too much and do the best they can. Take care of the kids here and elsewhere. Even on a shitty day there is grace and wonder in You. Remind those who need it that You are there with them. And if You could call a few to teach Your children that'd be nice too, but if not, I'll do the best I can. Thanks. AMEN.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Birthday Blues and Monday Madness

Well, it has been a crazy weekend. I'm now officially 28 which is fine. It is a number that is below 30 so I'm still good! ;-) Although 30 is probably fine too.

My weekend was a lesson in extremes it seemed. Friday Chris, my SIL Emily and I went to the Goo Goo Dolls at the State Fair. I got to eat my favorite foods (chocolate chip cookies and the prerequisite pronto pup among the highlights) and had my ear drums blasted away by the bands. It was a fun night.

Saturday was a fun day too. Chris and I went to our buddy Daniel's 1st birthday party (Daniel goes with my friend Emilie) and I got to play with my friend Kerry's triplets too! I was in baby bliss. And as a bonus (according to Chris), I got spit up on so my baby bliss was tempered by the feeling that it is ok not to have one just this second! LOL. It was a lot of fun to see my friends and their growing families. I'm amazed how quickly time seems to pass when kids are that age. It does make me ready to be in that place myself, but we'll deal with that possiblity when the time comes!

We also spent some time Saturday test driving cars in our price range. We are pretty well decided on the model and general price range and now we are dealing with the what, where and how part of it all. We're going out looking at our top spot tonight and who knows, we may have a car tomorrow. Most of the hoops seem to be lined up right now. I'll share my car joy when i actually have one so I can gush about my new little machine. (Since I'm driving a boat of a borrowed Buick right now I'm definately looking forward to something new, cute and small! But a huge thanks to Chris' parents who are sharing their car with us right now).

Yesterday which was my actual birthday was not as much fun in the end. I spent the better part of the day and evening at work dealing with piles of catch-up work and with some interview processes for our job search. It was a day filled with the stress of figuring out how to buy a car, what needs to be done at work and how to help my hubby prepare for school which started today. In the end it didn't seem like a birthday.

BUT, dear sweet hubby bought me a coldstone ice cream cake in its chocolate peanut butter glory, which was lovely. And even though he didn't get me a present, I am getting a new car this week so I think it balances out in the long run!

Today is work, work, work and maybe a car. Which has me feeling excited, crazed, edgy and poor all at the same time. Oh, and I'm working on a goal list for this year of being 28 that I'll post later after I get it together. I'm coping my friend Emilie but it seems like a good time to set some goals for this crazy year.

Off to call more people to see if they want to teach preschool Sunday School...

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggity-Jig

Well, we are now home again from our vacation. It turns out that when you leave problems from before vacation they are there when you get back too! LOL. Still, a week away from life was a good thing because on Monday I need to hit the ground running! (And I HATE running LOL).

Our vacation was two parts and both were fun. I don't have any pictures to share right now but hopefully my friend Tiffany will send me some of the photos soon! (hint, hint). The first part was spent with our good friends Tiffany and Patrick up on the north shore. We were able to get a small little cabin to share and had a great time. I don't think I've laughed so much in a long time.

We were able to do some shopping, (while the boys played golf), go on the harbor cruise, have yummy walleye, go to Betty's Pies, Gooseberry Falls, Split Rock Lighthouse, the breakwater in Two Harbors with 30 mph winds, and made it through many rounds of Cranium, Phase 10 and Scategories.

It was a wonderful time to be with friends and relaxing. Tiff and Patrick had never been to the North Shore before and it was fun to show them around. And it was fun to just share extended time with friends (who are basically family!). I'm glad we did it but we did consume plenty of food and alcohol and not as much sleep.

The second leg of our vacation was to my Grandfather's cottage in Northern WI. It satisfied a craving of summer nostalgia and was just fun to see my grandparents. Since they live in Florida for most of the year now we don't get to see them as often as I'd like. They took good care of us and we had a great time despite some rain. We recovered from our earlier vacation and played a lot of bridge. Surprisingly, Chris and I got good cards and we cleaned house 3 nights in a row! Oh, and Chris and i went out in the fishing boat and got within 15 ft of a loon on the water. Very cool. I didn't have my camera with me though.

(P.S. Does ANYONE out there play bridge? We have no one to play with in town, only my parents and grandparents when we visit. It is such a good game, people should learn it!)

We had a great time, hopefully pictures will come soon. Life soon begins in its full-fall-force.

Tomorrow, the state fair to go see the Goo Goo Dolls with my SIL. I hope to have time to get some chocolate chip cookies, fries and pronto pup as well. :)

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Random Updates

* I'm going to make sure to include positive events and thoughts from the recent week rather than be all negative, so here goes!

* I got to go the American Idol concert with my good friend Emilie earlier this month. It was a lot of fun with Melinda, Lakisha, Blake and Jordin all being wonderful. But my biggest surprise...Sanjaya. Honestly, he was much better in concert than he appeared on TV. He did a Michael Jackson song and really worked it. He was a performer, that's true. I was pleasantly surprised.

* Last week was my Sports Camp. While it was a busy week, most of my frustrations worked themselves out in the process. That was a good thing. I'm even exploring the idea of doing it again next week.

* The late nights at church continue, with this week's total at 3. I know it is necessary to prep for the fall but it is getting really OLD!

* Last weekend Chris and I got to visit several friends at a cabin for the day. We got to boat, tube, grill out and just generally chill for the day. It was a much needed fun day. We also got to see our friends house and new clinic (Chiropractic) so I'm so thrilled that they are doing so well (though I do have a bit of house envy perhaps).

* In distressing news: My car is dead. The transmission is shot and we are currently in the fix or upgrade debate. Neither decision is great and the money isn't really there for either so we'll just have to muddle through and see where we end up with it all. But it really wasn't a great time to deal with this (Of course, when is it ever?)

* BUT, I still get to go with Chris on Vacation later this week. It is already planned and after the month so far I need the break. And one of my dearest friends and her husband is coming too so that will be a good restful time!

There is my brief update: I have to go pick up Chris from the bus stop now.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Confession.

Sometimes it feels so good to get things off your chest. All week I've been alternating between guilt and annoyance over my upcoming children's ministry event. We are trying a new camp event at our church this summer - a sports based Bible Camp. Because it is new and expensive, our church has partnered in this venture with several other churches in the area. The event begins next week and things have been...

well...they've been....

...like High School.

You know that group project that inveitably gets assigned during High School. Sometimes its History, or English or Health or whatever. The one dreaded assignment with the randomly assigned group of students. Often they are people you don't know well, or know well enough to dread the experience with. Naturally, one responsible-type person ends up taking the lead and doing 90% of the project because they are unwilling to risk a bad grade on a group of people who don't really care. Communication is spotty at best and attempts to get information from others only makes you frustrated. Only once in a while is there an experience that is good out of this High School groups.

I've discovered that working with other churches can be just the same thing, except worse. It is worse because the colleagues that you are working with (whether volunteer or not) have actually signed up to be there and do this project with you. But of course, it is turning out the same. One person (me) is doing all the work. It is like pulling teeth to try to get registrations from these churches, or to get their share of the payments.

To break even we needed a certain amount of campers. Not too many, really a small group from each church. We are at roughly half of our needed numbers. All the churches are going to lose money here and I'm very annoyed that I'm being dragged under. I have more than the needed number of campers from my church, if it were simply split evenly, but I'm going to lose out here too.

So the upcoming event is causing me some stress and trepidation. But there is a lighter side. I finally got the courage to call the head of the camp and confess our low numbers and she was very kind. I was feeling guilty for failing to live up to our end of the bargain, but she put things into perspective for me. They will throw the camp no matter what numbers then have and she reminded me that it is about the kids that we do have in the end. I'm still frustrated with my partners in this venture, but feeling better that I will do all I can to provide the best camp possible and that it will be fun for whoever is able to come.

Afterall, it isn't about me, it is about the kids.

Confessing that it wasn't going to be perfect helped to remind me that its okay that it is not. I should not take all of the pressure for creating a perfect event when it is a split responsiblity. And no matter how it ends up, I'll have done all I can.

It is amazing how confessing your inadequacies reminds you of God's grace. At my conference this week there was an amazing sermon that focused on Paul's phrase "God's Grace is Sufficient." Once again I'm reminded that this is true in an unusual way. I'll muddle through the best I can and trust that all will work out.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

What a Tragedy.

My hearts go out to the families of those killed on the horrific bridge collapse in the Twin Cities. For those who I haven't heard from, I hope you are safe. I don't know why anyone I know should have been nearby but who can tell. It could have been me up there for some reason or another. Chris and I are safe and were nowhere nearby.

Also, if you are in the Twin Cities please take the time to give blood soon. The Red Cross has put out a request. Chris and I were in a prohibited part of Mexico this winter so we are unable to but if you can it sounds like it is needed.