Saturday, February 27, 2010

Ahh....The Weekend!

It's a peaceful Saturday morning. Harry is at school and Bianca is sleeping. I figured now would be the perfect time to sip on a cup of hot tea and catch up on this blog.

The first thing my Dad asked at Harry's basketball game this week was, "Is she doing any more tricks?" I'm sure all of you are wondering the same thing. As far as I know, she isn't doing anything new, but yesterday Aunt Dot told me that she laughed liked she's never laughed before. Lucy was apparently doing something to make Katie laugh, and the more Katie laughed, the more Bianca laughed. I'm so sad I missed it. I've heard her laugh, but it hasn't been anything like that. I wish someone would have been able to tape it for me, but I guess that's the way it goes for a working mom. It's inevitable that we're going to miss a lot.

Keep that fact in mind as you read the next part.

Some of you know about my dream of running my own business. The vision of Circle's End came to me in 2002 while I was doing yoga on the beach in San Diego. It would be a place where women come to heal and refresh. I dream of using massage therapy along with other activities such as journaling, collages, and women's circles to help hurting women see that they are special, they are loved, and it's never too late to make their dreams come true.

The first step in getting to Circle's End is to become a massage therapist. Harry and I decided that it possible for me to go to school part time, starting this summer. The issue is I am already $40,000 in debt from school. It doesn't seem prudent to go into more.

So...To help pay for school and to pay down that debt, I have decided to become a Pink Papaya consultant. I will be selling spa products that are made with 100% natural oils and completely manufactured in the USA. They also smell really good! I don't think I'll have a problem promoting products that I really love.

I will be joining the company on March 1st. I'm asking for everyone's prayers that I do well with the business. Harry and I talked about it, and he said that if I make and save enough money, there is a possibility I can stay home with our next child. Nothing would make me happier. Being a work-from-home mom would be a dream come true!

Don't worry: I'm not quitting my job at UMB. (That was my Mom's concern.) I'm just hoping to supplement my income a little bit.

Anyway, don't be too offended if you happen to receive an email asking to help me spread the word about Pink Papaya products. I just really want to do well so that I can be home with our next baby. I don't want to miss the things with him/her that I'm missing with BiBi.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Wishcasting Wednesday: February 25th

Today Jamie asked, "What do you wish to give yourself permission for?"

I wish to give myself permission to be successful in my career; to be happy with my "day job"; to work efficiently; to leave on time; to make a positive impact on everyone I meet; to take on new challenges with enthusiasm; to accept the promotions that will come my way; to make and save so much money that I will be able to stay home with our next child. I give myself permission.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Happy Friday

Some things that made me happy this week:

~Watching Bianca roll over
~ Listening to Bianca laugh
~ Harry winning two basketball games
~ Trying a new recipe
~ Bianca smiling at me
~ Harry kissing me on the top of my head
~ Having lunch with Mom
~ Pink Papaya
~ Looking at Lent a new way
~ Dove dark chocolates
~ Watching the Batchelor with Bianca in my arms and Harry's head on my shoulder
~ Breathing in Bianca's smell
~ Planning our spring Girls' Day
~ Not feeling overwhelmed at work

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Wishcasting Wednesday: February 17th

Yesterday, Jamie posed the question "Where do you wish to make a difference?"

I want to make a difference in so many places. I want Harry to be a better person and feel pride because of me. I want to influence my children to be followers of Christ, true to themselves, and tolerant and loving towards others. I want to show constant love, encouragement and support to my extended family. I want to make a difference in my friends' lives, adding to their energy and their life experiences. I want to make a difference in my job - touching amd positively influencing one life at a time. I want to foster children. I want to take them to church and show them that they are loved and cared for, even when it feels like the complete opposite is true. I want to be active in my community - feeding the hungry and showing love to the "loveless" people. I want to love more green, being a little more kind to our earth. If I can do all of these things, I know I will have lived a wonderful, meaningful life.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Not Me! Monday

I found out about "Not Me Monday" from my friend Dawn's blog. I always thought it would be so much fun to participate, but sadly, I never had anything fun to say. Luckily, after spending ten days with my Little One, I can play, too!
~ I did NOT cut Bianca's finger while attempting to trim her fingernails. Harry was NOT the one to discover the incident when he saw blood all over her bottle. I did not feel so, so horrible!
~ I did NOT have to go to the bathroom so bad when feeding Bianca that I ended up feeding her while sitting on the toilet. Nope, not me!
~ I am NOT so obsessed with Yo Gabba Gabba that while attempting to film a video of Bianca, I ended up taping a part of an episode with my camcorder.
~ I did NOT have to throw Bianca in the bathtub two different times because she had two huge poopy diapers leak up her back. While getting her ready to get in the tub, she did NOT put her foot in one of said diapers and then try to put her foot in her mouth. Nope, she didn't!
~ Bianca did NOT give herself a tiny black eye after whacking herself in the head with her butterfly toy.
~ Bianca has NOT been pulling my hair every chance she gets. I have NOT been finding my hair everywhere. I most certainly did not find a piece of my hair coming out of her butt!

Our Last Day

Even though I am not normally a fan of snow, I'm so grateful for this storm that allowed me to spend amazing quality time with Harry and Bianca since last Friday afternoon. Today is our last day together, as tomorrow we go back to the grind. Harry is ready to go back to school and get back to basketball. I, on the other hand, am not looking forward to work at all. This week has been wonderful, and I really don't want it to end. I've heard lots of people on the news say that they suffered from cabin fever last week. Is it bad that I haven't felt an ounce of it?

Bianca has been babbling so much more. She particularly likes the "b" sound. On Friday night, she said "mama," though she had no idea what she was saying. She hasn't said it since. (And believe me - I've been trying to get her to repeat it!) On Saturday night, she said "dada" twice. Again, we don't think she had any clue what she was saying, but it was extra special because Saturday was Harry's birthday.

To celebrate, Mom, Kris, Damian, and Tony came over with a yummy lunch from Bill Bateman's to eat during the Maryland/Duke game. I hadn't seen them for three weeks between Miami and the weather, so it was quite nice to be with them, even if for a little while.

BiBi has also gotten much better with eating her rice cereal. We have been feeding her little bit each night. In the beginning, she was getting more cereal on her bib than anything, but now, the majority of the cereal is getting into her belly. She still makes a grossed-out face when she first tastes it, so we think we will be introducing her to oatmeal relatively soon to see if she likes that better.

Yesterday, Bianca turned 5 months old. She decided to celebrate the milestone by learning how to roll over. Even though she has rolled over sporadically in the past, she rolled over 10 different times yesterday. It's almost as if a lightbulb went off for her. Here is a peek at her accomplishment for your viewing pleasure:

Friday, February 12, 2010

Happy Friday

Jamie Ridler hosts a book club called The Next Chapter.  They are currently reading The Happy Book.  Every Friday, Jamie encourages participants to list things that made them happy this week.  Even though I am not participating in the club, I thought I would participate in the exercise.

This week I have been happier than usual.  I was snowed in with Harry and Bianca, and I was able to spend some delicious quality time with them.  I was also able to read my Bible, read my devotional, and journal.  I drank lots of tea.  I watched the snow falling outside while cuddling with My Loves in front of the fire.  I took a hot bath.  I talked to Stephanie on the phone.  I got up every morning without an alarm.  I had more energy than usual.  I wasn't worried about work.  I received healing, fresh air while shoveling the driveway.  Just being home upped my happiness factor by leaps and bounds.  It was a wonderful week!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Wishcasting Wednesday: February 10th

Today Jamie asked the question, "Where do you wish to travel?"

At one point in my life, I would have answered, "I want to to see the whole world."  But as I am getting older and realizing that some dreams just won't come true in this lifetime, I have narrowed down my travel wish-list.  (But you must admit that it is still pretty lofty!)

In no particular order, I would like to travel to...
1) Italy.  Harry's family is Italian, and we hope to make it there for our 10-year anniversary.
2) Disney World.  I've been there before, but I would love to go again in a few years when our kids are old enough to truly enjoy it.
3) Alaska.  Again, I've already been there, but my mom hasn't.  It is her dream to take an Alaskan cruise.  I would love to make that dream come true for her.
4) The Poconos.  I would love to spend a romantic weekend with Harry at the Ceasar's Resort, famous for its champagne-glass bathtubs.
5) Ireland and Germany.  To see where my ancestors came from.
6) Australia or New Zealand. To experience the beauty, the way of life, and the fabulous accents!
7)  I'd love to visit all 50 states at least once with Harry.
8) The seaside town where we are going to retire.  I have a clear picture of our beach cottage in my mind.  I just don't know yet where it will be located.

Monday, February 8, 2010

A Day in the Life of Bianca

Playtime in the Exersaucer

Tummy Time

Yummy cereal

Getting Ready for a Bath

Bath Time

All Clean!

Story Time
Bed Time

Snow Pictures

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Wishcasting Wednesday: February 3rd

Jamie's question this past Wednesday was, "What story do you wish to live?"

I wish to live a story full of bliss.  One that includes lots of singing, dancing, playing, laughing, hugs, kisses, reading, writing, hot tea, chocolate, coffee, massages, facials, jogging, stretching, lounging around, deep breaths, warm blankets, spending time outside, loving, good food, deep conversations, close friendships, comfortable clothes, sunlight, peace, a convertible and a beach cottage.

Wishcasting Wednesday: January 27th

Jamie's question on January 27th was, "What do you wish to awaken?"

I wish to awaken the healthy woman sleeping inside of me.  The one who wakes up each morning refreshed.  The one who starts her morning off with a prayerful jog.  The one who eats and prepares healthy meals for herself and her family.  The one who has a job that feeds her soul.  The one who spends lots of quality time with her husband and children.  The one who laughs A LOT.  The one who is flexible and strong.  The one who loves the way she looks and feels in her body.  The one with healthy skin, healthy hair, healthy teeth, healthy eyes.  The one who inspires others.  The one who radiates love and warmth to everyone she meets.  The one who is active in her church and her community.  The one who opens her door to foster children and orphans.  The one who makes her husband and her children proud.  The one who has a close relationship with God.  The one who leads true worship in church.

I wish to awaken the woman I've always dreamed of becoming.

Wishcasting Wednesday: January 20th

I'm a little bit behind when it comes to my Wishcasting.  Since I have lots of time for introspection today, I'm hoping to catch up.

Jamie's question on January 20th was "What do you wish for your family?"

For Harry and I...that we grow closer every day; we have a God-centered marriage; our good days far outweigh the bad; we laugh together A LOT!

For Harry....that he gets his BMW; he is proud of his career and his family; he grows closer to God on a personal level; he grasps his role as head of our family.

For Bianca....that she grows up happy; she has great self esteem; she is willing to explore her dreams; she finds out who she truly is and is encouraged to live a life of bliss; she laughs every day; she has close friendships; she is truly loved; she is thin and healthy; she is active and comfortable in her skin; she is a Proverbs 31 woman.

For our son...that he is not afraid to show emotion; he has at least one close friend; he is successful in sports, academics, and anything he tries; he grows as a man of God; he is an ideal husband and father; he is truly loved; he is proud of his career and his family.

For Mom....that she finally heals...physically, emotionally and spiritually.

For Kris...that she finds true love and breaks the cycle of debt.

For Damian...that he feels worthy of love; he feels free to explore his true self; he knows happiness; he is healthy; he is accepted; he treats women with respect; he has a happy marriage; he's the dad he always wanted Tony to be.

Sacred Friday

This week's word was "Satisfaction."  Harry once told me that I would never be satisfied.  He said that I am always looking forward to the next thing, and I never take the time to enjoy the now.  When I saw this word, it was my goal to prove him wrong.  After all, even though I do have big dreams that I am constantly working towards, I am generally satisfied with my life.  The only area that needs a major overhaul is my job. 

I have a strong faith that gets me through the darkest times.  I have a husband who I am attracted to and truly love to be around.  I have a daughter who is beautiful and inspires me to be the best version of myself.  I have an extended family that encourages and supports me.  I have close friends who bring me joy and challenge me to be better.  I have a spacious house with all the comforts I need.  I have dreams that sustain me.  How could I not be satisfied?

I thought that I was unsatisfied with my car.  For years, I dreamed about my Cabrio.  I found the perfect one, and I drove two hours into Virigina to buy it.  It was the first car in MY name.  I took out my very first loan to buy it.  My heart and soul were in that car.  After my accident, I needed a car.  Volkswagen didn't make Cabrios anymore.  And since Harry and I were about to get married, we thought it would be better to buy a four-door car for when we had children.  We looked in the used car lot at the dealer where my Cabrio was towed.  There was only one car on the lot that I liked.  I took it for a test drive and then bought it.  There was no thought behind it.  There was no passion.  It was just a vehicle to get me to point A to point B.

Because I want to own another convertible, I have been trying to pay closer attention to the cars I see on the road.  I have been taking note of the cars I'm drawn to so that when the time comes, I can buy another car I am passionate about.  Ironically, a lot of the cars I saw driving that caught my attention were Hyundai's - which is now what I drive.  Guess I am more satisfied with my new car than I originally thought!

I was also starting to get unsatisfied with Family Day.  Now, I love my family and I love spending time with them.  But the obligation of going to my mom's every week was starting to take a toll on me.  Because of the weather and because of Miami, I haven't been over my mom's house in three weeks.  I find myself longing to go over there.  Again, I guess I am more satisfied with the status quo than I originally thought.

Again, the area of major unsatisfaction in my life is my job.  But I was reading the Message Bible this week, and I stumbled upon Ecclesiastes 3:12-13.  "I've decided that there's nothing better to do than go ahead and have a good time and get the most we can out of life.  That's it - eat, drink, and make the most of your job.  It's God's gift."  Honestly, on most days, I don't view my job as a gift.  I see it as nothing but a burden whose benefits aren't worth the stress and heartache.

Harry and I watched "Love Happens" last night, and the leading man had an assistant who was really passionate and dedicated to his job.  When the man lost his luggage, his assistant said, "No worries" and handed him a suit.  I found myself wishing to be like that.  Normally when a problem occurs, I get upset, worried, and stressed out.  I wish I was more proactive and calm when it comes to finding a solution.

Of course, if I had my choice, I would definitely be in a new career.  I just don't think it can happen anytime soon.  So I have to work on being more satisfied in my current position.  I just think I need a lot of help to do so.


I apologize for not posting an update lately.  Ever since I've gotten back from Miami, work has been crazy.  I've been staying late, bringing work home, and pretty much getting an ulser over my job.  I've barely had time to spend quality time with Bianca, much less write a blog about it.

I have a confession.  Some days I wish Aunt Dot was keeping this blog.  That way, I could read about what my daughter's been doing.  It's sad but true that I feel like I'm not the best person to be posting updates.  The majority of the time I'm with BiBi, she is sleeping.  I feel like a horrible mother.

Luckily, we are in the middle of a blizzard.  We will definitely be snowed in this weekend - possibly the entire week - so I'll have lots of extra time to spend with our Little One.  (And write about any cute things she does.)  Right now, Middle River has 23" of snow, and it will continue to fall for at least a few more hours.

Harry and I are about to go back to bed for a morning nap, so I'll close for now.  I promise to write more later.  Until then...enjoy this cute little face!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

In the Valley

They say that life is made up of a series of peaks and valleys.  I realize now that I am currently in a valley.  Even if on the outside, everything seems to be going my way, my insides are a complete mess.

Harry suggested to me two years ago that he thinks I suffer from Seasonal Depression.  I laughed it off at the time, just attributing my mood to my usual dissatisfaction with work.  Working at the Boys and Girls Club in Anchorage, Alaska gave me the opportunity to know that S.A.D. is a true disorder.  And for first time, I'm starting to think that maybe I do have a mild case.

Remember that "bad, nervous vibe" I mentioned while I was in Miami two weeks ago?  Well, it hasn't gone away.  It is still alive and well in the pit of my stomach.  It got so bad that last week I had a headache for four days straight.  On Thursday, I was so nauseous that I got sick twice at work and four times in the car as my mom was driving me home.  I feel like I am on the verge of having an anxiety attack at any moment, and every once in a while, I just start to cry for no reason.

I thought the culpirt was work.  Being in Miami for a week put me behind in a major way.  I've been trying to catch up ever since.  I thought that the stress was just too much for me to handle.  But this weekend, I never opened my work email once.  I refused to bring work home this week.  And I haven't gotten any better.  In fact, I feel a bit more on edge this morning.  It snowed last night.  Could the weather be what's really affecting me?

I do know for a fact that my life is completely out of balance.  I am in a constant state of worry over my job.  I don't ever take a break while I'm at work.  I check my work email at home.  It's not unusal for me to bring work home.  Lately, I've been having nightmares about work, and some nights I wake up in the middle of the night, nervous about something at work.  I hate it. 

As Harry pointed out to me when I tried to talk to him about how I've been feeling, I am just a secretary for a doctor.  It's not like I'm the one trying to eradicate malaria.  And he's right.  I'm a nobody here.  So why do a feel the weight of the whole Malaria Section on my shoulders?  Truth be told, they could replace me in a minute....and with someone who has far less impressive credentials.

Both my boss and my supervisor will be traveling for two weeks starting this weekend.  The first order of business for me will be to take a mental health day on Monday.  I need it.  I need to slow down.  I need to breathe.  I need to get my life back in focus.

Next, I need to start reading the Bible again during breakfast.  I took my Bible off the kitchen table while cleaning, and it's never found it way back.  It is still on the bookshelf where I left it a few weeks ago.

Then, I need to start taking a lunch break every day.  And eating at my desk while I work doesn't count.  I need to step away from my desk, maybe meet up with my mom, maybe read a little.  No matter what, I need to give myself a real break.  Daily.

Finally, I need to stop taking work home.  I need to make a commitment to myself and to my family that my focus will be on them once I enter our home.  My worries of the day should roll off my shoulders as I walk through our threshold. 

I once read in a book that God intends for us to work hard.  However, you should not be emotionally or spiritually exhausted from work.  If you are, and your priorities are in order, you may be in the wrong job.

I was contemplating looking for another job, but I think I need to get my priorities back in order first.  Right now, it seems like my priority order is: 1) my job, 2) my family, 3) God.  When in reality, that order should be completely reversed.

I need to get God back in the number 1 spot in my life.  I have to give my family more of my attention.  And I need to find some "me" time in there somewhere.  All of that must take precendence over my job.  And if my job performance suffers a bit in the process and for whatever reason, I am let go, I will know that God wanted me to move on.  And I will praise Him for getting me out of a bad situation.

As you may have guessed by now, since I am actually taking the time to blog, my supervisor isn't here yet.  She called me and told me she was going to be late due to the snow.  But as she is due in at any moment, I better start getting some work done. 

I hope you all have a healthy, balanced day.