Mind

Business As Usual

Life has been so busy lately! I don’t know if it’s just me but August this summer has flown by in almost an instant. We’ve been super busy with work at the ballroom, the kids have been busy with summer activities, family has been visiting from California and I feel the time is just racing by. Maybe it’s because I’m constantly planning for the next month/months ahead but I just want to slow down for a few days. I have a lot of book work to catch up on but I just want to do my laundry. Yes… I WANT TO DO MY LAUNDRY! Change the sheets, put my clothes away, take some time to read and pray. I’ve been enjoying my time at adoration and I feel like I just want to go to church ALL the time. It’s crazy, the closer I feel to Jesus the more time I want to spend with Him. I tried explaining this to my 13 year old the other day but he just looked at me like I was insane but the truth is my heart is on fire for Jesus Christ! I feel like I’m 14 again and have my first boyfriend. I just want to talk to Him all the time, spend time with Him, think about Him. It’s not exactly like having a new boyfriend, that would be a little weird but that’s the closest thing I can relate it too. The more time I spend with the Eucharist the more I can feel the will of God, life events are making more sense to me, I actually feel God’s love for me and I’m becoming more childlike in my trust for Him. I have a lot more to say about some events that have happened in the recent month concerning St. Therese but I’m still trying to sort it all out. Life has been really awesome lately despite being super busy. I am so greatly BLESSED and I just want everyone to know that it’s all because of God!

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Mind

ISO: A Friend

ISO: A Friend

Female, age 31 in search of a true friend. Someone to have coffee with and go shopping on occasion. Someone with a “different” sense of humor that likes action movies. Must be honest, trustworthy and have a positive attitude. Must like kids and beer.

I often struggle with relationships. Perhaps it’s a character flaw or maybe just a personality trait but I’ve never had a lot of lasting friendships. When I was growing up I got along with everyone, played kickball with the boys and jump rope with the girls. I preferred playing with the boys actually, they were less dramatic, but as I got older this became a problem and I seemed to have alienated myself somehow from the girls and the boys, well their hormones started kicking in. Middle school was a nightmare. I switched schools and didn’t know many people so I hopped from group to group trying to find where I fit in. Being in Band and having headgear made me less than desirable amongst most middle school girls and I was a little weird so that didn’t help me either.

Once I started high school I was suffering with my emotions, trying to deal with a crazy mother and the loss of my rock, my grandfather. I went into a dark place and most of my friends didn’t understand, what 14 year old does? Needless to say, I alienated myself again and became the quiet loner. I had my pals in band, they were fun in class but I never bonded with anyone closely. Then there was Rebecca, we met in one of our classes, maybe math now that I think of it. We became really great friends. We liked things that other people didn’t understand. We hung out, listened to Blink182 and dreamed about all the tattoos that we would get when we turned 18. We were great friends, shared everything with each other, supported one another. Then graduation came and my parents snatched me up and moved us to another town, hours away. Rebecca and I lost contact eventually and our once strong friendship fizzled into the atmosphere.

As an adult, I have not made any lasting connections with anyone other than my husband. He is my best friend and the only one that I have to talk to about life. I look at women my age that have these groups of friends, women that they can hang out with, go on trips with, have coffee or an occasional beer with to talk about life and lift each other up. For so long I convinced myself that I didn’t need that in my life, that I was self-reliant and I could entertain myself. Well I was wrong, it sucks being alone!

Lately I feel God calling me to work on my relationships.  I would love to have a true friend, just one. Someone that I could go shopping with, that is positive and fun to be around. Someone that encourages me, supports me and I would do the same for her. Someone that likes the things I like, someone to take girl weekends with and talk to on the phone once in a while. Truth be told I’m a little envious of the groups of lady friends because I don’t know what that’s like, to be loved and cared for by a person that doesn’t expect to have sex at the end of the night (no offense babe). So if you are out there and you’re truly looking for a friend, a sister from another mister, give me a shout because I could really use someone in my life that wants to be my friend.

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Mind, Simplify

Valuable Lesson

I just got a phone call from our “computer guy” and it’s not good news. We had an external hard drive, something that I was putting all of our digital images on thinking that I was doing the right thing by taking them off the memory card and putting them in a safer place so as to not get lost. Well… that was a horrible mistake. Apparently an external hard drive is not the safest place for your photos, especially if that external hard drive gets bumped or damaged in any way. The valuable lesson that I learned isn’t necessarily not to put photos on an external hard drive but to actually do something with those photos. I haven’t really printed any pictures off in about 3 years. Maybe I was waiting for the time to become available for me to sit down and print out only the ones that I want. That time never presented itself and now I have no pictures of my home birth. I have no pictures from last Christmas or of Avery’s first communion. There are no more images from the last two years of birthday parties or summers at the lake.

I had listened to a podcast the other day about accountability which is really hitting home right about now. It talked about how everything that happens in your life (good things or bad) you are accountable for, you made them happen. The thoughts and actions that you have put out in the universe you have to be accountable for. I have been telling myself this for the past few days, especially when I dented my van because I was in a hurry; yup I made that happen by not being patient and by not being totally prepared. When my 4 year old misbehaves (because he typically gets everything he wants) and acts like an a-hole when he doesn’t, yup I made that happen too. It’s like when I make an effort to understand and ask God to help me to understand what it means to have accountability in my life he throws me this fast ball. Losing all of my images because I am not more organized really feels like a sucker punch to the gut. All the time I’ve wasted on Pinterest I could have been editing my images, making photos books, or at the very list printing off my photos off at Wal-Mart. I do feel like I could just puke all over my keyboard right now.

So what have I learned from all of this? 1) There is never enough time to get everything done perfectly, but perfect sucks! Perfect sucks because right now I have less pictures of my kids because I didn’t have time to make them perfect. 2) Print off your f-ing pictures, right away, as soon as your event is done because weeks, months, years may go by and you’ll end up losing them. 3) Pull yourself together Tiffany! It’s time to get more organized, do something every day to get closer to a manageable level of organization because this fly by the seat of your pants everyday routine sucks. 4) Thanks God for iPhones and Instagram!

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Mind

Dear Teenage Me

I’ve been thinking about starting a series for my blog titled Dear…   where I would write a letter to someone in my life. I would write about the things that I want to tell them but may not necessarily be able to actually say. I got the idea after I wrote Dear Baby the other day and then when I went on the Nesting Place today it sort of made my decision for me. Sometimes you get little signs in life and you just have to trust that they will take you the right direction.

Since I’ve turned 30 and my 10 year reunion was just a few years ago I’ve been thinking a lot about high school. We had a girl living with us last year while she finished her senior year and it really hit home for me. Dealing with family, learning who you are, becoming a woman but still being a child. There is a lot to process in those few years, writing this letter sort of lets me put some closure on my past.

Anyway, Emily at Chatting at the Sky started a link up party for letters to your teenaged self, check it out if you’re interested!

Dear Teenage Me,

Being a teenager is tough, you have all these hormones that you don’t understand, self-esteem issues that you don’t understand, a crazy mother that you don’t understand and you just lost the most important person in your life.  Plus all of your friends are going through similar changes and they don’t understand either. Life is not so black and white, learn to look past the issue in front of your face and try to see the whole picture, it will make things a lot easier.

Don’t make fun of people. It’s not cool or funny to pick on other peoples insecurities and the only reason that you do it is to hide your own insecurities. Work on yourself rather than put other people down. Being kind to others can only bring good to your life.

Your mother is crazy, really, she’s crazy and it’s not just you. Don’t try to hurt yourself to get back at her, don’t put yourself down because she can’t cope with her own flaws. You will get past these next few years and you will learn that you are not her (no matter how many people tell you how much you look alike).  Find a good counselor, someone that you can talk to and get the crap out, your stomach will feel better and the headaches will go away.

Trust in God. I know that’s hard to swallow right now, especially since grandpa died and he was the only one that seemed to get you. Find some faith, the sooner you do and the sooner that you trust in Him the easier life will be. Ok, maybe life won’t get easier but it can be a lot less stressful. Life will not go as you expect but if you have faith and let God guide your path you will be pleasantly surprised.

Don’t stop writing. You are good, you have a lot of potential and you really love it. Keep at it and you will only get better, who knows you could be a writer someday.  It’s not a worthless career choice, you don’t need to just get a mindless job to pay the bills and as a result be unhappy for the rest of your life. You have talent don’t waste it.

Don’t drop out of band your senior year. This is supposed to be the best year of your high school life; you’ll only regret dropping out of band. Keep practicing and join a college band after you graduate. You have worked so hard, music is an incredible gift that you don’t want to just throw away because you are so stuck in a depression that nothing seems to matter.

Don’t be afraid to try new things, living in fear will only hold you back from the exciting life that you deserve to have. Get tattoos, try new things, meet new people, sing, travel, and don’t fear doing things because of what family members might say. They are stuck in their ways and that is not you. By the way, you will join the Army and kick ass doing it despite what your family members may have told you.

Be yourself and most importantly love yourself!

Love,

Tiffany

A little more mature but not quite grown up.

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Mind

Lazy Saturday

Normally Saturdays for this family are crazy busy. There is usually a wedding to get ready for which involves, cleaning, setting tables, getting supper ready for the kids, hoping the babysitter won’t cop out, trying to get a laundry list of other things done. Today is a different story. For some strange reason we haven’t had to work for the past few Saturdays and today was an especially lazy day. Sure I could have tackled the mountain of laundry that has some how accumulated in my basement, I could have worked out in the yard, but instead I did nothing productive. 2 of my 3 children were gone for the majority of the day so Will and I decided to take a quick trip to St Cloud.

My destination of choice was Target, I had gone there earlier in the week and bought some slippers on sale, turns out they are awesome and I wanted to snag a few more pairs while they still had them. Normally I wouldn’t do that but I’m starting to learn that if I find something that I like I need to get it right away or it will be gone. While picking up the slippers I also found some leggings for $3 and a Belly Bandit. I was really excited about finding one of these in the clearance pile because normally they run $49.95 at Target and it was marked down to….(drum roll please) $12.46! I’ve seen them in parenting magazines and I can’t wait to try it out. Maybe I’ll do a review!

Anyway, I also stopped at my friends salon (Panache in Sartell) and picked up some beauty products that I’m running low on. Control Force hairspray by Aveda and Damage Remedy. After picking up an Almond Iced Latte (my favorite treat) Will and I stopped to have some lunch at Granite City. It was nice to sit and enjoy some conversation without a three year old trying to talk over you! We talked some shop, had a little business meeting if you will, and ate a light lunch before heading home. I had the french onion soup, yummm!

Will planned on going fishing with a friend and being that I still only had one of my children at home, I took the opportunity to have some quiet time. I did some blog research for an e-course that I’m taking. Abeautifulmess.com offers a free e-course called Blog Love. I love their blog so I figured why not give their course a try. It involves a lot of free writing and brainstorming right now but I feel like my cogs are starting to turn. You should check them out if you are interested!

Now all of the kids are home and I feel like I should probably do something constructive for the evening, maybe cook dinner because they will get hungry eventually. It was a nice day to do nothing, sometimes you have to have days when you put the to do list away and just go wherever your heart desires.

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Mind

Growing up.

I am officially a grown up. Despite having three children and being pregnant with number four, despite being married, 30 and owning a business I have only recently become a grown up because I purchased my first Roth IRA AND I actually understood what the financial adviser was talking about! Sure we have other investments, life insurance, etc, but Will always dealt with the planning; this is the first time that I have made my own investment. All of this financial planning has only caused a domino effect in my brain. How much money do I spend every month? And on what? I realized that I need to be on some sort of budget.

My biggest vice would have to be eating out. I spend a ridiculous amount of money on eating out. This should be a once in a while treat, not an everyday occurrence and I probably eat out at least once a day. It’s just so much more convenient to stop at subway on my way home from running errands. Coming home, thinking of something, preparing it, sitting down to eat, then cleaning up after myself is just too much work! Then I saw a picture on pinterest the other night and it was like a light bulb went off in my brain. I could prepare a weeks worth of meals for myself!

Now that the kids are back at school it’s usually just me at home. I wouldn’t have to prepare something that they would eat and then try to figure out what I want to eat because it would already be there, waiting for me. I wanted to start with something simple, I wouldn’t include dinners (for now) only breakfast, lunch and snacks.

I started by getting some Ziploc containers, 10 small square and 5 xsmall rounds. I would only start with five meals to see if I could actually eat five days worth of the same thing. I put instant oatmeal, blueberries and dried cranberries in five containers for breakfast. For lunch I started with a simple romaine and spinach salad with cherry tomatoes and Parmesan cheese. I also baked off 5 chicken breasts that I could cut up and add to each salad. For snacks I boiled a dozen eggs, bought a bunch of bananas and filled each xsmall container with Greek yogurt which I had planned on adding granola to each day.
The results?

I’ve done pretty good, but I must admit eating oatmeal every morning isn’t for me, I’ll have to figure something else out for breakfast. I’ve alternated eating yogurt for breakfast along with bananas and boiled eggs. That seems to be working out. Lunch has been great, I’ve only eaten out for lunch once this week. Will and I were in St. Cloud and we stopped at Fuji Steakhouse to have a bento box lunch (which was amazing!). I’ve been pretty successful with the salads because I’ve been able to add variety with what dressing I use. One day I used a chipotle ranch and added croutons, on another day I used a boiled egg, ranch and some goldfish crackers. I think that I can handle the salads for lunch, maybe next week instead of making 5 chicken breasts I’ll only bake a few and plan on incorporating some beans or tuna for protein. Then again, when Will comes in he has been grabbing a breast out of the fridge and eating it for a quick snack.

Overall I think it’s a great plan for me, it’s easy to just grab something out of the fridge and go with it. I did buy some canned soup as a backup, but I haven’t used them. Oatmeal everyday is a little difficult but I can work on it because I’m saving a lot of money by eating at home. As for eating out, this week I’ve only had one lunch away from home, one dinner (Will and I ate out the other night for a business meeting) and I bought a latte yesterday, which was a nice little pick me up. Getting up at 7am every morning this week has been a challenge too but I’ll save that for another day.

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Mind

Adventures in Dreamweaver.

Once upon a time I was pretty proficient at using Photoshop. I worked as an assistant to a graphic artist and had a ton of opportunity to be creative and experiment with the programing. I made advertisements and flyers for the local skate park, worked on various logo designs. Fast forward to today, 10 years later (cue smokey special effects cloud)….

I decided that I would buy Adobe Dreamweaver and learn how to make a website! Mostly because I wanted to be able to update our current business site (www.fallsballroom.com). When we bought our business the website was really sad and a relative offered to spiff it up for us. We love the site but would love it more if we could update it more frequently, something that said relative doesn’t have time to do anymore (understandable). I would really love to get back into graphic design and I figured what a great way to start back up. I could add more pictures to our gallery, update our dance schedules, put the wedding contracts online for the upcoming years.

At BestBuy yesterday someone from the Geek Squad helped me navigate the software aisle. I knew that I needed Adobe Dreamweaver and asked him if I needed Photoshop as well, he assured me that I would not need any other programing. I think that he is full of crap. I bought a Dreamweaver for Dummies book and installed the program. Started reading the introduction as the program installed, I must be really dumb because this book is not making any sense at all. Then I opened the program to see if I could just fart around…NOT.

I’ve been watching tutorials on YouTube for the last 2 hours and it seems to me that I need to go buy Photoshop and possibly smack that Geek Squad guy in the kisser. I’m pretty confident that I can teach myself anything but when I ask someone a question (Geek Squad Guy) I expect to get a correct answer or be directed to someone who knows what they are talking about. So here I am, back to the drawing board. It’s not a huge deal, but it’s frustrating nonetheless.

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