March 10, 2017

my FRIDGE

In 2010, Dustin and I were living in Idaho Falls.  Isabelle had just turned one year old.  All of my family was in Utah, all of Dustin's in Wyoming.

We both had great jobs, lived in a nice house and had made a pretty nice life for ourselves.

We soon realized it was time for us to move so we could be closer to family.  As you may recall, in 2010, the housing market was at an all-time low and there really could not have been a worse time to sell a house.

Despite all of this, we put our house on the market and hoped for the best.  To help make our house more enticing, we decided to include our fridge as part of the sale.  While this may not seem like a big deal to some, it was for me.  That fridge was $3,000 and the only reason we bought it was because it was the only one that would fit properly in our kitchen.  I absolutely loved that fridge.

Five months later, our house sold.  And we lost a lot of money.  Like, a lot of money.  And I left my wonderful fridge behind.

Soon, we were in Utah and living in Ogden.  When we learned that Dustin's new job would not offer health benefits until after six months, we knew he had to find something different. 

After one month, we packed up all of our belongings again and moved to Bountiful.  Dustin found a new job.  The responsibilities, the pay and the hours were less than desirable, but we had awesome benefits from day one.  He dealt with working a job he hated for the benefit of our family, and I spent my time scouring the internet in search of something better for him.

During this time, I found a part-time job at a local reception center.  I washed dishes for next to nothing.  I would come home from work soaked to the bone with sore hands, feet and back.  As a dishwasher, I was considered the lowest of the low and had to deal with snotty high school girls (I was 30 years old at the time) who were servers (which was considered a big step up from being a dish washer) on a regular basis.  For whatever reason, they, along with the rest of the staff, decided they were better than me, and I spent a lot of time biting my tongue.  I was there for a paycheck.

Dustin and I both acknowledge this was the lowest time in our marriage - both working pitiful jobs for pitiful pay.

But, we both had faith things would eventually get better.

And, they did!

Dustin found a new job with a local bank.  We moved out of our crappy apartment and purchased a new townhouse.  We made new friends.  We belonged to a wonderful church.  And I stopped washing dishes for a living. Things were definitely looking up.

But, we always seemed to have a mediocre fridge.

Over the next few years, Dustin did what he does best by being awesome.  He worked the hours no one wanted to work, and we saw very little of each other.  But by being flexible he proved his value and he worked his way up the corporate ladder.  I found better job opportunities as well.  Slowly but surely, our financial situation was getting better.

I often thought about our old house, that beautiful fridge, and wondered why we felt inclined to move when it meant losing so much money.  Even today, I don't regret a thing, but that doesn't mean the past doesn't sting a bit.

Now, nearly seven years since this story began, I feel as though I am closing that chapter of my life.  We are coming up on three years in our newest house.  We live in a great neighborhood and have made great friends.  Our daughter attends a phenomenal school and, thanks to another amazing career change for Dustin, I was able to quit my job to be home full-time with our youngest child.

And, just a few days ago, we purchased a new fridge.  It's not the same fridge we had before, but one that is very similar.  



As I stare at our new fridge, I'm almost brought to tears.  As silly as this sounds, this new fridge is a symbol of the satisfaction that can come from working hard, putting aside your pride and doing things that may seem beneath you for the benefit of others, sacrificing your wants for your needs and realizing that even though things may be less than perfect now, they will get better.

I consider myself very blessed.

MARCH goals

February ended up being an interesting month.  As you may recall, I had set a few goals to read two books, write four blog posts and cook dinner at least 4 times a week.

Well, I"m here to report that I did cook dinner at least 4 times a week, which is a HUGE accomplishment for me.  I'm actually pretty proud of myself.

I only did one blog post.

And I only finished one book, The Book Thief.  Technically, I didn't finish it until early March, but I'm calling it a win since that book is 550 pages and I'm a slow reader.

I'm a bit frustrated that I didn't hit these goals out of the park.  I actually quit my job, and my last day as February 3rd, so I've had plenty of times on my hand.  I guess the saying "If you want something done, ask someone who is busy" is true.  Because I had so much time to get stuff done, I, of course, didn't.  Makes perfect sense, right?

MARCH GOALS

Write four blog posts

Read two books

Go on three 30 minute walks per week

I'm excited to accomplish more goals this month.  I'm getting a late start, but I'm not going to let that get in my way.

February 8, 2017

my FAVORITE way to use OILS

One of my goals for the month is to cook dinner at least four times a week.  For those of you who cook dinner every night, this goal may seem super simple.  But, for me, it's a challenge.

I absolutely love Indian food, specially chicken tikka masala.  I would love to make it from scratch, but I rarely have all of the ingredients at home.

I managed to find a decent sauce in a jar.  Blasphemy, I know.  Ina would be so disappointed in me.  Regardless, it's a family favorite and easy to prepare.

The only thing I don't like about Indian food is that it leaves a lasting smell in my house.  As great as it tastes, I don't want to smell it for the rest of the evening.

{I may have a slight obsession with how my house smells.}

Insert:  essential oils.  

I realize everyone knows someone who uses essential oils.  Please don't mistake this post for some ringing endorsement for doTERRA or essential oils in general.  I like oils, and I use them daily.  But, to be honest, I use them mostly to help my house smell awesome.

My go-to blend is Purify, Lemon, Lime and Wild Orange.  I could diffuse those oils together all day long.  And, I usually do, especially after eating a dinner like chicken tikka masala.

I also use Lemon and Wild Orange to wipe down my countertops.

And, I make my own air fresheners by blending Wild Orange and Peppermint. 



Let me tell you, my house smells AHH-MAA-ZING.

And, as a side note, someone once asked me why my house doesn't smell like I have dogs.  I honestly don't know why my house doesn't smell like dogs because we have two little fluffys who are usually always inside.  It could be the breed.  Or, it could be that the main living area of our house is pretty open.  Like I said, I don't know.  But, it's possible the oils help eliminate the smell.

So, if you're in the market for make-my-house-smell-good products, give oils a try!  Everyone will have an opinion about what brand of oils to use, and I'm not here to convince you of one brand over the other.  But, I am a satisfied doTERRA user.

If you use oils, please pass along your favorites.  I also enjoy trying out new blends.

February 2, 2017

FEBRUARY goals

January is over!

Here's a recap of the goals I set for myself:

Read Attachments and Room
Write four blog posts

I easily read Attachments and Room.  Attachments was cute, but a tad cheesy even by my standards.  If you're into RomCom novels, I would recommend it.  It has a unique plot and is entertaining.

Room I was a bit disappointed with.  Let me start by saying it wasn't nearly as difficult to read as I planned.  Yes, the plot is disturbing, but since it is written from the perspective of the little boy, the difficult situations seem to be softened a bit given his innocent point of view.

I would have enjoyed the book more had the author chosen to write from Ma's point of view as well.  I think it would've thickened the book, if that makes any sense, and added a depth to the storyline that I felt was lacking.

As for my blog posts.  I technically wrote three, if you count the one that I wrote about my January goals.  I was hoping to write 4 posts after that, but only go around to writing 3.  One notable thing happened in January (the 20th to be exact) that sort of sucked the life out of me, and, in fact, inspired one of my goals for February.

Speaking of February...


This month promises to be exciting.  And here are the goals I have set for myself:

READ
The Book Thief


Crossing to Safety


WRITE
Four blog posts

AVOID
Facebook
Because Facebook sucks.  Big time.

PREPARE
Dinner 4 times a week

Since I am a little behind, I'm officially starting my goals as of February 6th.  If you have any ideas for me as far as posts go, please send them my way.

Happy February!

January 30, 2017

MUSIC mondays: the SOUNDS of SILENCE

This week's version of Music Mondays is a little different.  Usually I like to use this time to talk about a new song or artist I've discovered, but this week I'm sharing an oldie, but a goodie.

I was listening to a cover of The Sounds of Silence the other day, and was struck by these lyrics:

"People talking without speaking.  People hearing without listening."

Holy crap!  These lyrics resonate with me SO much right now.

This last week I have been bombarded with the opinions of others by way of articles, memes and quotes.  And, I've done my fair share of reading and listening to what other people have had to say.

But, at the end of the day, I don't really feel like much is being said.  And there's definitely a whole lot of selective hearing going on.

I guess I just wish that when I logged into Facebook, instead of a plethora of never ending "shares", my feed would be full of actual statuses written by my friends who are writing about whatever floats their boat that day.

Our country is so divided right now, and I'm genuinely curious how people feel.  But, instead of telling me how you feel via the New York Times, how about just tell me in your own words. 

Of course, there are going to be exceptions to this.

But, in general, I think if we start to talk using our own words, we'd really start to speak.  I think we'd notice a difference in our conversations with each other, and I think we'd feel much more understood.

Likewise, if we're going to find common ground, we need to start listening to each other.  I'd be willing to bet if we engaged in more meaningful conversations, ones where we're actually listening to each other, we'd find that we have so much more in common with each other than we ever thought possible.

But, I'm just one person, and my opinion doesn't matter all that much.  But, I'm glad I'm expressing it in my own words rather than letting some article express it for me.

Now, please enjoy this AMAZING video of Simon and Garfunkel singing The Sounds of Silence.  It's breathtaking.

January 15, 2017

INITIAL reactions

Several months ago, I read an article that had been shared by a friend on Facebook about what traits parents of successful kids all have in common.  According to the article, the traits ranged from having a college degree to learning math at an early age.

One trait in particular stood out to me:  a working mother.

After reading the article, I went back to Facebook and reviewed the comments.  Everyone loved all of the traits, and agreed with them, with the exception of the working mom.

I didn't know any of the women that made comments.  I barely knew the friend that posted the article to begin with.  But, because of their comments, I allowed myself to make all sorts of assumptions about them.  And what I assumed was not too great.

I consider myself a working mother.  While I am in no way the bread winner of our family, I work five days a week and contribute to our family's income.  I work to make money, of course, but also because I enjoy the satisfaction I get from completing a task that is separate from my motherhood responsibilities.

I took my anger and frustration to my blog and wrote a post criticizing these women for their comments about working moms.  But, before I published my thoughts, my mind was suddenly filled with doubt.  I started to wonder if the assumptions I had made about these women had any merit at all.

What I heard these women say was, "Successful children are not raised by working moms."  

But, maybe they meant, "Stay-at-home moms raise successful children, too."

I had a variety of different thoughts race through my mind.  I wish I could articulate how my perspective on this article, on the comments changed within a short period of time.  It really was a remarkable experience.  

And, basically, what I learned is this:

My reaction to something is not necessarily a reflection of intent.

I can think whatever I want, but that doesn't mean that I'm right.

Living in a world where it is so simple to respond to virtually anything within a matter of seconds, it's easy not to get caught up in our initial reaction.  

And sometimes our initial reactions are spot on.  

And sometimes they're not.

And so long as we're all aware of that, I think we'll all be okay.

January 1, 2017

JANUARY goals

I love Mondays.  Seriously, Monday is my favorite day of the week.  It's possible my love for the day stems from the fact that it is my day off from work, and even though that is a definite bonus, I'm pretty sure it's more than that.

You see, Monday is the day that we get to start fresh.  Typically, my Monday includes a renewed commitment to cook dinner.  Unfortunately, I never succeed.

But, that's besides the point.

Given my love for Mondays, it's probably no surprise that I love beginning a new year.  I've lived through enough new years to know that I'm pretty pathetic when it comes to resolving my new year's resolutions.  I'm awesome at making such resolutions, but the awesomeness stops there.

Given my track record, I have decided to make monthly resolutions in an effort to be more successful. For now, my resolutions will be simple and small.

Here are my January goals:

READ two books
The two books I have chosen to read are "Room" by Emma Donoghue and "Attachments" by Rainbow Rowell

WRITE four blog posts
I already have two posts in mind, and I think you will like them!

Those are my only two goals for January.  Small and simple and, given that I love to read and write, hopefully easy and enjoyable.  

Welcome, 2017!
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