The little things

Appreciating Time

As my birthday was approaching my kids were either, (a) very secretive about what they wanted to do or give me; or (b) flat out telling me what they are making me (my youngest can’t keep a secret to save her life).  As they are getting older they want to buy me things and, while I absolutely appreciate that they want to do that for me, I would rather they didn’t spend their money on me.

This is all my Papa’s fault.  😉

Growing up, I remember that my dad never wanted any gifts; not for Christmas, not his birthday and not for Father’s Day.  The way I saw it, I had a job and I wanted to get him a gift.  To me, it was almost showing appreciation for him being the best dad he could be.  A couple of times I even asked him what he wanted and he said “I don’t want anything.”  I’d still get him something but, being the man of few words that he is, it’s not like he got excited about it.  It was almost anticlimactic to watch him open the gift.  I got over it.

Eventually, as I matured into a “real” adult, my siblings and I would have parties and get everyone together whether it was for a special occasion or “just because” and he really enjoyed those.  If someone was missing, he’d ask where they were.  We realized that it truly made him happy to simply have us together; to BE together and enjoy our TIME together.  Today, that’s how I feel.

My oldest wants to take me to dinner and it will be very nice to spend more time with her, but a part of me doesn’t want to have a fancy dinner; I’d rather she didn’t spend her money that way.  We can have a nice dinner and enjoy each other’s company without the expensive bill at the end of the night.  I don’t want to crush her plans so I’ll make a light suggestion that we go somewhere else and see if she takes the bait.  I will appreciate whatever it is (like the manicure and PAINFUL eyebrow threading that I endured already as part of her gift to me).  Ultimately, my hope is that I instill the same appreciation for time that my dad did for me and my siblings.  We don’t “stress” about gifts like we used to because the most important part is that we all take the time out to spend together.  God blessed me with a wonderful family that I love to spend time with.  I can’t ask for anything more for my birthday.

Thank you, Papa.  🙂

Sharing my goals and receiving inspiration.

It’s February 5, 2016 already, and for a lot of people who make resolutions, they’re starting to fall apart, if not all but forgotten by now.  I, too, had a list of resolutions for the year.  I’ve started most of my resolutions: gain weight, spend more, keep a messy room, stop working out…you know, the usual.  I managed to add a few serious ones in there, too.

One in particular – learn sign language.

It’s not the first time but, over the busy holiday shopping season, there were more than a couple of situations where I wish I had known sign language so that I could help someone who was struggling with a store employee.  I can’t even begin to attempt to be helpful in that particular situation and that’s frustrating for me; imagine how they feel.  😦

So, I shared this particular “resolution” with my kids and my youngest princess was super excited.  So much so that she decided she wanted to do it, too.  Like most things, it was exciting at first; the thought was exciting.  Then came the part where I try and figure out where to begin.  There are so many resources online and, as we all know, everything on the internet can‘t be trusted so I really had to do some research.  Then life happened and the momentum was gone.

2 weeks later my princess had her dad send me a video.  The video was of her saying “good night” to me in sign language.  I absolutely loved it and it sparked a new excitement in me.  A few days later, she was at my house again.  I came home from work and when I walked in the door she didn’t speak like she normally would, she signed “Hi Mom.  Finally, you are home.”  #proudmamamoment  It was so sweet.  Of course I had to ask her what she said, but still, it was so encouraging to see that she was trying to learn.

It inspired me, but not enough.  Not yet.

The next morning she signed that she loved me.  That evening we were sitting at the dinner table and she has a piece of paper out with a long list of words on it and she said, “quiz me.”  After I was done quizzing her, she signed “thank you.”  I asked what that meant.  She told me.  Then she finally says, “Mommy, who’s resolution is this, anyway?”  That’s when I finally put aside my excitement about HER learning it and decided to do what I said I was going to do.  How embarrassing for me to have my daughter remind me that it was me who said I wanted to learn so that I could help others.

The rest of that evening was spent learning the alphabet alone – it’s hard to teach this old dog new tricks. 😉  The next morning, she comes into my bedroom, half awake, and says, “Come on Mommy, let’s go over the alphabet again.”  She curled up in bed with me and we went over the alphabet, again.  When it was time for me to leave, I ask if she knows how to say “have a good day,” but she doesn’t.  Lesson number 1.  I learn it during the day at work and when I come home I show her.  She, in turn, taught me some new phrases and that’s how it’s been all week.

She inspired me to start and keep the momentum going.  I am truly blessed to have received the gift of my children.  They keep me on my toes.  Where would I be without them?  🙂  I’m no ASL pro, but with their inspiration and motivation, what was once a simple new year’s resolution on a piece of paper will become my second (or third if you count broken Spanish) language.

Somebody

I’ve mentioned my love of Depeche Mode in previous posts and to say that I love them is probably an understatement because I know every word to every song ever made.  Just about.  😉

Last year, while planning my wedding to the Mister, we couldn’t come up with a song that we would “perform” our First Dance to.  We never had a song that was “our song”.   We love music, but we didn’t have a song that spoke to us as our own like other couples seem to have.  So we put our pee-brains together to decide what we would dance to.  Out came the iTunes to go through the lists of songs that we collectively had – and there were a lot.  We actually came up with a bunch of choices, but none of them stood out as a good one.  (The John Legend All of Me song was played out, even though it was a great wedding song that everyone used and still use as their first dance.  *vomit*)   Then I found it….

Somebody by Depeche Mode

I. LOVE. THAT. SONG!  It expressed everything that we wanted in each other.  The Mister isn’t a Depeche Mode fan, but I thought I’d give it a shot anyway and when I suggested it, he actually said that it was the perfect song.  He liked it.  And that was that.  My heart was content and I was on cloud 9 thinking about and loving the fact that I could have a Depeche Mode song in the actual program of our wedding because, let’s face it, their songs aren’t ones to dance to like that.  I jump around and wave my arms all over, but that’s about it.  😀

I was reminded of this when I was on my way home yesterday and the song came on my playlist.  It’s been a very long time since I’ve heard it.  I’ve skipped it a few times because I was broken and didn’t want to hear it.  The words, which I have so awesomely included below for your reading pleasure, are heart-crushing when I consider that they meant so much for someone I loved.  And while it originally seemed like the song would be forever ruined by the memory of our first dance as Mister and Missus, it’s not ruined at all.  I can choose to let a song that I love be ruined or allow it to remain a favorite and keep the good memories that I had at that time.  The happy memories; assuming they come along with the song, which they did yesterday and I shed a teeny, tiny tear.  Thank the Lord Almighty for putting this understanding in my heart.

So, just in case you haven’t been mesmerized by the song, I have also included the best version of it in this video below because Martin Gore is just everything.  You’re welcome! (LOL  I’m such a giddy freak when it comes to them…and I don’t care.)

I want somebody to share
Share the rest of my life
Share my innermost thoughts
Know my intimate details
Someone who’ll stand by my side
And give me support
And in return
She’ll get my support
She will listen to me
When I want to speak
About the world we live in
And life in general
Though my views may be wrong
They may even be perverted
She will hear me out
And won’t easily be converted
To my way of thinking
In fact she’ll often disagree
But at the end of it all
She will understand me

I want somebody who cares
For me passionately
With every thought and with every breath
Someone who’ll help me see things
In a different light
All the things I detest
I will almost like
I don’t want to be tied
To anyone’s strings
I’m carefully trying to steer clear
Of those things
But when I’m asleep
I want somebody
Who will put their arms around me
And kiss me tenderly
Though things like this
Make me sick
In a case like this
I’ll get away with it

My perfectly hard boiled egg

I’ll admit it. I have Googled more than once, “how to boil an egg”.   There are just some things in life that are so simple, they must be done right.  I must know the best way to get it done.  Oddly enough, Martha Stewart’s instructions are featured first in my Google search results.  Her 2-step system seems simple enough and she even provides you with a video! (And in related news to the right, you can learn how to PEEL the damn thing!)

Silky, smooth perfection.

Silky, smooth perfection.

Indeed, it can’t be THAT hard to boil and egg, but you wouldn’t need a video on how to peel it if it was boiled correctly to begin with.  Here’s the thing: a perfectly boiled egg, not unlike a perfect cut of filet mignon lightly seasoned and seared to melt-in-your-mouth perfection, will practically slip right out of its shell, once cracked.  Personally, I gently roll the egg between my hands while applying just enough pressure to crack it and free it from its bondage.  I’m not gonna lie…from the first crack I know if it’s been boiled perfectly.  I just know.  I can FEEL it.  The excitement I get around 10 am in my office when it’s time for my mid-morning snack, that would be said hard boiled eggs, is like winning $1 off a $1 scratch ticket (I’m not hard to please – I like getting my money back).

I try to enjoy every little bite of protein that’s packed into those egg whites.  Which is why it displeases me IMMENSELY if my eggs aren’t boiled to silky smooth perfection!

Imagine, for a minute, that you’re getting ready for your daily hard boiled egg ritual while you’re at work.  You’re humming along to your favorite guilty pleasure pop beat and getting your space all prepared.  Napkin for the pre-peeled eggs.  Napkin for the post-peeled eggs.  Tiny salt packet.  Tiny pepper packet.  Perhaps some cayenne pepper or hot sauce that you keep in your top drawer under lock and key for nobody to steal.  You take that first egg out of the zip lock sandwich baggie and begin to roll that bad boy between your hands.  Adding pressure.  Then a little more pressure.  Then, in an act of denial, just a little bit more pressure to welcome that little egg’s goodness into the world and out of it’s shell.  But you stop. You can’t.  You freeze and stare at it in complete and utter disbelief.  Because you finally realize the truth.  The truth that no matter how hard you press, it’s just not happening.

Now you know.  The humming stops.  You slouch back into your seat.  Holding back tears of frustration as you come to grips with the hard fact that you are about to lose 20, maybe 30%, of your protein packed egg white to the egg peel that it’s stuck to.  And for what?!  Because it wasn’t boiled correctly?!  You try to think back.  Where did I go wrong?  Was the temperature on my conventional stove top not quite on medium?  Was there enough water to cover the eggs by exactly 1″? Do I need new pots?  Will my second egg be just the same? WHAT DID I DO TO DESERVE THIS?!

Fortunately, there are nothing BUT simple answers.  You’re just going to have to salvage what you can and live to see another day…or go to the cafeteria and get a new egg cooked by someone else because SOMEHOW they always come out right.  Jerks.

The message is from the Man of the house, not the eggs.  They couldn't care less about my day.  They're dead.  :)

The message is from the Man of the house, not the eggs. They couldn’t care less about my day. They’re dead.

PS: If you thought this was going to be about something deeper than a hard boiled egg, I’m sorry if I disappointed you.  😉  #sorrynotsorry