Monday, May 24, 2010

Be My Guest Monday! Rooftop Melodies

Hello! Today is another Be My Guest Monday! Thanks for coming by... I've been a bit out of it lately with the crazy computer virus, so my apologies for the late post time on this. But I'm glad you came, because today's post is fabulous!!! Today we have Katie from Rooftop Melodies bringing us some excellent thoughts on what it means to find the extraordinary in the ordinary...

Rooftop Melodies

"Hmmmmm... ordinary in the extraordinary. Or wait, maybe it's the other way around..." I pondered what I would write for Out of the Extraordinary. My mind was blank.

As I mused, the sound of a glass-packed muffler pounded through my window. That vehicle had to be at least a block away, down by the bars where I could hear people talking a little too loudly and a little too enthusiastically. The engine revved over and over and over. People raised their voices. I was annoyed. I find myself often annoyed lately. I don't know exactly why this is, but I am even annoyed with the fact that I am often annoyed. Yes. It's self-perpetuating.

It's times like this when I think to myself (why do we say "think to myself?" To whom else would we think?) "Self, it's a good thing you do not have children, or even only one child, or even a mere husband. You could not handle a relationship. You could not handle caring for anyone other than you. You would quickly become uber annoyed with these people and eventually fall into insanity" Then I begin to argue with myself, "That's so not true. I love kids and I'm sure I could rise to the occasion if I were in a relationship." But I'm not very convincing. I'm afraid I'm right. Er... wrong? No wait, um... What did I say about insanity?

The voices drone into my window again. I want to tell these people that it is late. It's only a Thursday night. Can't they hold off on the drinking for one more night? My neck is stiff from laying on my tummy in bed and typing with my hands above my head. My eyes blink closed. I just realized how tired I am.

Then I decide it really doesn't matter. The act of being annoyed doesn't change anything. You choose your battles. Some will need to be addressed. Some will need to be ignored. And that's exactly what I will do about the fair patrons of Bottom's Up down the street.

Sometimes I just have to remind myself that God gives the grace to deal with every situation he sends. From noisy neighbors to crying children and family priorities to dealing with loneliness and the realization that my plans are not his plans, I'll find the strength in him. And as I remind myself of this fact, I also remember that my iPod will drown out annoying neighbors. My eyes close again and I thank God for the little things, because ordinary, everyday annoyances are what make life extraordinary in its own crazy way.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Out, Out, Damn Virus!

Alas, yes my computer did succumb to the virus that's going around. This is why I'm writing today's post from the office, after working hours (much, much after actually).

So let this be a Public Service Announcement:

Update your virus protection software! Or if you don't have it, buy it!!! I will admit that I let mine lapse a very, very long time ago, and since I generally do not make it a habit to vist skeezy websites, I did ok. But wouldn't you know it, the day after a friend at work got a virus, I got the virus. It's like how colds just jump from desk to desk, except my computer has never been near his. Stupid internet. :p

And of course this happens after my 3-year warrenty expires. So I have to drop $260 at Best Buy for the Geek Squad to fix it, because honestly right now I don't have many computer geek friends that I know well enough to burden with a viral plague-infected computer.

The only plus side of the event was that the guy I talked to, Bruce, was the epitome of everyone I used to hang out with in high school, and it was so much fun chatting with him while filling out the paperwork. I almost wanted to go back and be like "Hey Bruce, would you like to be my friend?" and then I realized how insanely pathetic that would have sounded so I just kept walking.

But it's funny how in the space of 8 days I've managed to both break my digital camera (still under warrantee, thank God) and get a virus on my computer. Like seriously, does God want me hanging around Best Buy for a specific reason??

The highly ironic thing is that I haven't been good at blogging in the 3 days of the week when I don't have a MEME going on, and yet today I made darned sure to make sure I wrote something. And hopefully in the next week I'll start getting caught up on the last month (or more) of comments I haven't responded to. Because you never really understand how much you love doing something until it suddenly becomes harder to do. Like using the internet. I mean, hooray for my BlackBerry, but unless there's a blogger app out there, I can't see myself doing a blog post with it. (IS there an app for it??)

Well, folks, that's about all I have for today. Sorry it's not much. But if you take nothing else away from this, remember: Update your virus protection software today! It's worth not having the headache later!


Monday, May 17, 2010

Be My Guest Monday! Her Silent Musings

Hello! Today is another Be My Guest Monday! Have you decided to be my guest yet? If not, you should!! (hint... just click on the link...) :)

Today's guest is Lauren from Her Silent Musings. When I started my blog I had to decide how much of my deepest thoughts I would actually be comfortable sharing to the public, since the "public" includes my mom, friends, and potentially people from work. What I love about Lauren's post is its simplicity, its transparancy, and the stream-of-consciousness writing style that I adore so much. I dare you to love this post more than I do:

Her Silent Musings...

There is a difference in my writing when I journal versus when I'm writing my story. You can tell. My journal reads horribly; the writing difficult to wrap your mind around either because of the jagged style or ill-scripted handwriting. When reading my story, it sounds like I try too hard, try too hard to be perfect. Often times, when I journal I also try to sound poignant, and more so just come across as dramatic and foolish. Yet when I write for my blog, I find that my voice sounds more authentic and wholesome. I actually sound like a real person delving into her inner soul and sharing pieces of it with people. You would think this would be the same for journaling, even book writing. However, such is not the case. When I'm writing my story, my mind almost feels completely detached from the moment, as if my fingers know more about what's going on than I do. When I journal, I think too much about someone possibly reading my thoughts in the future and I want to sound deep and reflective. When truthfully, I'm just a woman (yes, I'll be turning 20 in less than one month, and will no longer be a teen, so I shall refer to myself as a woman now) who eats goldfish crackers while writing her innermost thoughts.

I bought my parents a Thank You card because sometimes I feel like I don't show them enough appreciation. I can be very grouchy if my mom calls and I'm not in the mood to talk. I hardly ever talk to my dad on the phone during the week, so the only time I'm ever pleasant is during the weekend when I'm at their house visiting. Maybe I'm just looking at myself in a darker light than most; maybe I'm too hard on myself. Regardless, I want them to know that they're appreciated, and I know a card doesn't really do or say a whole lot, but it's better than nothing at all, and it's not like I don't ever say “thank you” to them when they do something for me. Sometimes I don't say thanks, so it makes me come off looking like I think I deserve to be catered to, but that's not how I perceive myself. Maybe I used to when I was in high school and still living with them, but not anymore.

Sadly enough, I'm going to be draining my bank account thin by the next pay period. While I was at Buffalo Wild Wings the other night with some friends, I bought a three-pack of screen guards and a new cover for my cell phone from Amazon, not considering that “Hey, Lauren, you have a doctor's appointment coming up this week” and not even thinking that I would need a refill on my medication for which I would have to pay. So that's a thirty dollar doctor's visit – and my real doctor wasn't even there, it was the head honcho lady who made me feel somewhat like she was talking down to me, which never sits well in my stomach – and then however much my prescription is going to cost. Not to mention, I bought lunch at various fast food restaurants before I went and bought groceries today, still have to buy gas for next week, and pay my car insurance. Ugh...

And then last Saturday my mom and I went to Kohl's where she bought me three pairs of pants for work. I tried them on Sunday afternoon and only one pair fit. My mom asked me if I'd gained any weight since I'd been on “the pill” and I said no, at least it hadn't felt like it. I mean, yeah, my belly's gotten a little rounder because I'm not walking my arse off from one class to another everyday, and I don't dance or cheer or do gymnastics anymore, but I didn't feel any heavier. She said it's possible that I had gained weight, and it disturbs me that this possibility unsettled me.

All my life, people have been telling me I need to gain weight, and the honest truth is that I've always resented their comments. I never wanted to gain weight, even though I knew I was small and could use a little meat on my bones. I don't have an eating disorder, I don't starve myself, or make myself vomit. I'm not obsessed with counting calories and doing two hundred crunches before bed every night. Now, truth be told, I could probably eat a lot healthier than what I do. I eat way too much junk. But since last weekend, I've turned sideways in the mirror many times and longed for my lost abs packed down by lack of exercise and too many Zaxby's milkshakes (too many Zaxby's anything, really).

There's a lady I work with who constantly informs me of her envy over my body and weight, something that annoys me to no end. People have told me they would kill for my body. Kill? Seriously? When I was in middle school, a curvy, curly-haired classmate pointed to my belly at a pool party and said, “That's how I want to look!” I curled into myself a little, slightly embarrassed by the attention, already feeling awkward that I was the only girl wearing pink and blue plaid boxer shorts over my swimsuit because I'd just started my period and was afraid of tampons. I've been accused of having nearly every eating disorder in the book, both behind my back and to my face. People have really surprised me by what they've said, yet looking back on it, I don't feel at all shocked by their words. Thinking of the kind of people they were and the way they treated not only me, but others, too, helped me make sense of the things they said to me and about me, and why they said them. That probably sounds harsh, but it's true. People can be mean, jealous, rude. Eventually, I learned to ignore the remarks. People would say what they were going to say and you couldn't do much to stop them.

So, in conclusion, I've learned that writing just has to be done, gratitude needs to be shown, and acceptance needs to be made. We are not perfect, we are just human. To be human means to be imperfect, sinful, but most importantly redemptive. I will probably never write perfectly the first time, will never say “thank you” enough, and will never look exactly the way I want to, because if I did, I have discovered that I wouldn't need God or His help. Because I am all of these things, I need Him, and will always need Him.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Fictionary Friday - Repercussion

So here are the rules. I will post a word and its definition. It will be a real word, and its real definition. But then I will create a fictionary definition for the same word, and invite you to do the same. Sound good? Good. Here we go:

Dictionary Definition:
Repercussion n. an effect or result, often indirect or remote, of some event or action: "The repercussions of the quarrel were widespread."

Fictionary Definition:
Repercussion n. at a concert: a repeat by the drummer/percussionist of his/her solo, often leading into a replay of the chorus or the entire song: "I loved the concert, but that drummer added too many repercussions."

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Curvy Thursday

Reason number 692 why curvy women will rule the world:

When we're running low on pockets, we can just store stuff in our bosoms.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Wit & Wisdom Wednesday

Time for Wit & Wisdom Wednesday, where I post a quote from a well-known (or not so well-known) person. Please feel free to comment with quotes that have touched your soul.


"Excellence is not a singular act, but a habit. You are what you repeatedly do."

~ Shaquille O'Neal  ~

Monday, May 10, 2010

Be My Guest Monday! Living, Laughing, Loving

Hello! Thanks for stopping by today. Today is Be My Guest Monday! I'm looking for people to do some extraordinary summer posts for me... how about YOU??

Today's guest is Angela from Living, Laughing, Loving. You've got to check out her blog when you're done reading this post... if you can't smile after seeing the picture... well then you may just need some help. :) But today you are so lucky to read this beautiful Mother's Day tribute. And so...

A Blink After Birth
by Angelia Sims

<a href="" title="Living, Loving, Laughing"><img src="" width="175" height="175" alt="Living, Loving,Laughing" /></a>

When I was a little girl from age four to ten, one of my favorite stories my mom would tell me was about the day I was born. As often as I could, I would beg her to tell it to me again. Maybe it was for the closeness we shared on that day. Maybe it was because my mom told it with such heart and soul. Maybe it was because I got to snuggle with her under the covers in her big brass bed. She would wrap me up and stroke my hair as she began to quietly speak. Transfixed, I would listen as she recounted the day with perfect clarity.

My mom, your Grandma Dorothy, died while I was pregnant with you. I was only 29 years old. We were so close and I loved her so much. It was devastating to me. But I had your two brothers, and sister to take care of. I could not grieve forever. As much as I would miss her, I had to do the best I could for my family. You were five months in my tummy when I said good-bye to her for the last time.

The months went by as slow and hard as I thought they would be. The emptiness and loss were a hole I could not fill. The boys were a handful, but thankfully your sister, who was eight, was a BIG help. She wished and wished for a baby sister and not a brother. I told her how sorry I was but I didn't think I could have any more girls. I wanted a girl more than anything but just couldn't get my hopes up. It seemed the last possible thing in the world. But in my dreams, I couldn't help but picture a big brown-eyed baby girl.

Two weeks from your due date the doctor informed me that he would go ahead and induce labor. He felt it was time. I had not gained much weight. I was too thin and too unhealthy. In my harrowing days, I had not taken very good care of myself. It was losing my mom. It was raising three children. It was so many things.

I couldn't believe after laboring all day when the moment of your arrival came and the doctor announced, "It's a girl!" I told him, "It couldn't be! I couldn't have any more girls." The doctor just laughed at me. "Of course you can have more girls and you did. She is beautiful. Just look at her."

And you were so, so beautiful. You had BIG brown eyes that peered up at me like an Owl. And you were so tiny too, only 5lbs 12oz, the smallest baby I ever had. Your thin blond downy fuzz on your head was so soft, and how I loved to count your precious little fingers and toes. Oh, I was amazed and in love. I only wished my mom could be there to meet you.

Back in those days, the babies would lay in the nursery while the mom recovered in her room from the medicines and birth. I was laying there in my hospital bed thinking of you and smiling, when suddenly, at the foot of my bed stood my mom. She was standing there looking at me with such love and adoration on her face. She looked right in my eyes and said, "Oh Sharon, you did it again. She is beautiful, just like you dreamed she would be with those big brown eyes. I'm so happy you got another girl."

I was so amazed and startled. I did what any normal person would do, I closed my eyes. I shook my head. When I opened them, she was gone.

Oh how I wished I had not closed my eyes. I wish I would have talked to her. I wish...I wish...I wish....but I didn't and just like that, she was gone. But she WAS there. Really there. It wasn't a dream. I will never forget that moment for the rest of my life.

Her story is both heart-wrenching and joyful. I am usually crying with her at the end. In my heart of hearts, I know my Grandma met me. She gazed at me through the glass. She lovingly reached for my downy head and stared into my big eyes. Oh Grandma, I heard so much about you. What you must have done to visit your daughter in a gesture of comfort, a gesture of reassurance, and a gesture of compassion that you were still there in her deepest period of loss. How much you loved us all. I know one day we will meet again, all of us, and no blink will ever miss that moment.

In loving memory of my mom's mom, Dorotha Marie.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Fictionary Friday - Incensed

So here are the rules. I will post a word and its definition. It will be a real word, and its real definition. But then I will create a fictionary definition for the same word, and invite you to do the same. Sound good? Good. Here we go:

Dictionary Definition:
Incensed v. past tense. to inflame with wrath; make angry; enrage "When Peter broke my vase I was incensed."

Fictionary Definition:
Insenced v. past tense. to cover with large amounts of perfume, usually in a department store. "I hate walking through the beauty department at Macy's because I always come out incensed and it makes me sneeze for hours."

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Curvy Thursday

Reason number 107 why curvy woman will rule the world:

Because our milkshake does bring all the boys to the yard.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Wit & Wisdom Wednesday

Time for Wit & Wisdom Wednesday, where I post a quote from a well-known (or not so well-known) person. Please feel free to comment with quotes that have touched your soul.


"Whenever you're in conflict with someone, there is one factor that can make the difference between damaging your relationship and deepening it. That factor is attitude."

~ William James ~

Monday, May 3, 2010

Be My Guest Monday! Nouns Make Verbs

Happy Monday! Today is yet another Be My Guest Monday! You should definitely click that link and let me know if you'd like to be one of my guest bloggers!

Today's guest blogger is proving yet again that the quality of my blog goes up every time I have someone else write for it. :) Please welcome Sabrina from Nouns Make Verbs. This is one of the first blogs that I started following, and I am so very glad I did! Enjoy...


Tumbling with the waves as they rolled foaming, the glass bumped into the gritty sand. Yesterday the waves were angry, crashing on the shore, but today they slid up, nonchalant, rolling. The gulls skipped out of their way. They were bored and fighting over nothing, because there was nothing to eat, and they fought loudly.

The glass was sharp. It was a bottle an hour ago and useful, but now broken; forgotten, unwanted and broken. Its pieces were pretty but missing from each other and less useful, even dangerous. It skipped along in the grit. As the foam cleared with each wave, the glass glimmered soft blue.

Smallish things scurried past it, over it, under it. The sun above it was a strange yellow ball. There was a constant humming, the power of the ocean humming. The waves rolled the glass along the grit. They licked the shore and rolled the glass, whose sides were becoming dull as it tumbled.

The yellow ball of a sun went down and it was dark. Sometimes the glass was on the beach and there was no water, but the gulls were there fighting over what was left to eat, grabbing and fighting. A gull picked the glass up and flew with it for a moment, then dropped it. Forgotten and left, and also broken.

Haunting waves, moody waves, gentle waves, as the yellow sun rose and sank again and again. Time by the ocean. Time, with waves rolling, is all of time and also is no time, because it is the same always, without mercy. The glass was changing. It was cloudy now, its edges quite smooth. It shone soft blue but in a different way.

It had become useful again, no longer dangerous. The yellow sun rose once again and people came to walk in the surf and laugh at the fighting gulls, fighting about the food they brought. Their umbrellas and towels and laughter filled the beach.

The waves were soft today for the people. They rolled onto the sand like a mother rolling a ball to her baby. The glass tumbled with them and landed at the feet of a young girl who saw things. She picked it up and put it in her pocket.