Monday, February 22, 2010

Every Monday Matters

I love Mondays! I know that many of you do not feel the way I do.  I saw this great little book while perusing a shop with J last weekend.  Yes, our proposal weekend.  Oooh!  Okay, I am done.  Back to the original point of this...  Every Monday Matters!  It can and it does.  Follow me on this little journey (and join in) as I take small steps to make a big difference.
Excerpt taken from the book
The average person spends:
  • 100 hours a year commuting to work, compared to 80 hours of vacation time.
  • 91 hours a week at work for dual-career couples with kids under 18.
  • 1.8 hours a day doing household activities.
  • 2.6 hours a day watching TV.
  • 8.6 hours a day sleeping.
Time is a non-renewable resource. Once it’s used up, you can’t get it back.

  • Stop and think … then make a list of What Matters Most to you.
  • Create a list of how you currently spend your time each week.
  • Organize your list of weekly activities and identify activities that are required and those that are optional or waste time.
  • Take steps to rearrange your schedule or reduce the optional activities so you can spend time doing What Matters Most.
What really matters most to you? Your relationships with family, friends, and children? Helping others? Passions? Faith? Security? Health? At the end of each year, don’t you want to look back and see that you made a difference? That you matter? Today is the start of a new year. Start it off by making a difference in you, your life, and the lives of those you love. This is your opportunity. Time spent on What Matters Most is never wasted time.

My List of What Matters Most

- my relationship with the Lord
- my relationship with J
- my relationship with my family
- my friendships
- my job
- my health

* Create a list of how you currently spend your time each week.
- working and commuting: 45 hours
- exercising: 6 hours
- sleeping: 50 hours
- cleaning: 10 hours
- on the computer: 25 hours
- building relationships: 15 hours

* Organize your list of weekly activities and identify activities that are required and those that are optional or waste time.

I need to devote time to reading my bible and being in devotion with the Lord. This is the most important thing to me, yet I seem to let it slip and slide all over the place. I need to spend less time on the computer. I need to adjust the way I spend my time building relationships.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Friday, sweet Friday!

I can't begin to explain how this past week has been.  I've had emotions I've never felt.  I've viewed certain things in a completely different light.  I've laughed in places I shouldn't have.  I smile more. 

I sat at my desk at work and listened to this song over and over...staring at my engagement ring with a smile. 

Hey now, this is my desire
Consume me like a fire, 'cause I just want something beautiful
To touch me, I know that I'm in reach
'Cause I am down on my knees, I'm waiting for something beautiful
Oh, something beautiful
And the water is risin' quick
And for years I was scared of it
We can't be sure when it will subside
So I won't leave your side, no I can't leave your side

I felt the warmth of the sun through the glass door.  I couldn't help but lean against it.  It felt so good that I pressed my face, my hands, and then my entire body against it.  I wanted to be bathed in that warmth...just like my old Amy cat.  She would lay in the sunny spots on the carpet and seem so peaceful.  I had a bit of that peace and warmth today too.  If there would have been  more time before I had to unlock that door I would have grabbed the pink body pillow and curled up on the window ledge in the front party room.  Ahh, goals for another day.

I hesitated before changing my Facebook status today.  I like that it announced our engagement, even if all of those Facebook friends of mine already know.  I liked seeing it and reliving that moment that I.SAID.YES!!  At this point, I don't care if this lovey dovey crap is annoying ya'll.  It is mine.  It is J's.  It is OURS and I plan on enjoying it for as long as possible.  If you know us in the slightest, you know that we are not lovey dovey.  There is nothing "ooey gooey" about our love.  We are not usually this sticky sweet couple.  So, please, be patient.  Let me enjoy it for now.

Today I am looking forward to just a peaceful, normal Friday. I was reading another blog today and came across this quote. It spoke to me. I loved it, and now I'll share it with you.

"Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are. Let me learn from you, love you, bless you before you depart. Let me not pass you by in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow. Let me hold you while I may, for it may not always be so. One day, I shall dig my nails into the earth, or bury my face in the pillow, or stretch myself taut, or raise my hands to the sky and want, more than all the world, your return."
I'm so looking forward to this normal day!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Our Engagement Weekend - an Ooey Gooey Lovefest!

December 2004
J and I have been friends for about 7 months now.  We act like a couple, but I am not ready for another relationship. 

January 2005
I fit nicely in his arms.  He makes me happy.  We have a lot of fun together.  Okay, he can be my boyfriend now...but I'm not asking.

February 13, 2005
We take a little trip to Frankenmuth.  We plan to stay the weekend.  On this day he asks me to be his girlfriend.  I say yes.  I like him.

We carry on about our life boyfriend and girlfriend.  A year passes.  Then two, three, four and five.  Wow.  Five years.  We act like a married couple, but he's not ready for a wife, I guess.

February 13, 2010
We take a little trip to Frankenmuth.  We plan to stay the weekend.  It's our 5 year anniversary and J surprises me and takes me back to where we first started dating.  He asks me to be his wife.  I say yes.  I LOVE HIM. 

Here is how it all went down....

We are just leaving our hotel to walk around Frankenmuth.  Aren't we cute?  I take a lot of photo's of us this way.

We walked and talked.  I mentioned the horses.  J mentioned the horses.  What girl doesn't want to go on a horse-drawn carriage ride?  We kept walking and talking. He brings up the horses again and I say that I want to go for a ride.  I wanted a white horse.  Oh please can we have a white horse?!  They have to go in order and to my delight, a white horse was next in line.  J is oftly chatty, asking one of the attendants about pictures and stuff.  I figured he was just being sweet, since this is our five-year anniversary and all.  We get in and the girl offers to take a couple pictures.

We're riding along, up a river-lined road.  I've never been on this quaint little road in all the times I've been to Frankenmuth.  I bet I'll visit it quite a few times in the future.  I'm happy and J seems happy.  I snap another photo of us.  It looks very similar to the first one in this post except our eyes are a bit glossier and our noses are red.  I lean in and tell J that I feel like a princess.

Our driver introduces himself (and also the horse, Ernie) and tells us to ask any questions along the way.  J  asked if we could stop along the way for a photo.  Our driver happily obliged.  As J exited the carriage I heard him whisper to the driver.  I was oblivious but you know what I mean?  He stopped me from exiting the carriage and he knelt down on the step.  He put his hands on me and I froze.  (I have tears typing this out.)  He looked me in the eyes and said....

"First of all, I love you...very much." .... insert tears...he pulls a little black box from somewhere..."Will you marry me?"

I can't even tell you what I felt.  It was such an amazing feeling.  I want to relive it a thousand times over.  I think every little girl dreams of this moment.  No matter how old we are, we all have a bit of that "little girl" inside.  I really did feel like a princess.

As you know, I said YES!  To be exact, I said "Of course! Are you kidding me? Oh my gosh, YES!!"  Then I said "let me out of here!"  I was still inside the carriage and he was outside.  This moment was followed by a lot of laughter and tears.  We hugged and cried and kissed and laughed.  Ernie (the horse) peed.  HILARIOUS.  That is our life.  I debated whether or not to include this, but yeah, it's our life.  We roll with it.  Our driver congratulated us and we carried on for the remainder of our ride.  I wanted to take it all in and enjoy the moment.  We snuggled.  We laughed.  We shouted out to this family walking by and waving to us -  "We just got engaged!!" 

At the time it felt like the longest horse-drawn carriage ride ever.  I wanted to enjoy it, but I also wanted to call my momma and my sister.  J knew that so he encouraged me to call.  I did.  "Momma, I'm ENGAGED!"  *sob* *sob* *sob*  She knew.  J had talked to both her and my dad prior so they knew that phone call was coming.  We enjoyed the last few minutes of our ride.  When we got back one of the attendants greeted us right away.  She knew too.  J told her before we left.  She was ready to snap some pics for us.

Our first pic as an engaged couple!

And our second!

Talk about giddy.  I could not stop smiling.  This was the case for the majority of...well... it continues.  Still smiling!  Before I even crossed the street I was dialing my sister.  I needed to tell my Beckey.  I stopped in the middle of the street and told her.  When something so great happens in life, you want to share it with the people who mean the most to you.  I was doing that.  I even talked to my niece and nephew. You know...the people that mean the most! My sweet 10 year old niece said "so..did you say yes?" Yes, Lovey Girl, I did! "Well, that's exciting!" Awe. Love her so! Here is the conversation between my 6 year old nephew and I.

Me: Hi buddy! Guess what?
Him: What?
Me: Uncle J asked me to marry him today!
Him: Okay
Me: You don't really care, do you?
Him: Nope..not at all. So, how many days can we spend at your house over summer vacation? 17?? 100??

Man, I love that kid!

We shared the news with some more friends and family. We squee'd and jumped up and down together, over the phone.  We called, we texted, we facebooked.  Okay, well, I did all that.  J shared it with a few and plans to tell people in person.  Um, I.could.not.wait.  We went back to the hotel and we continued to share the news.  We relaxed a bit before going back to town.    He pulled out the ring bag.  I thought it was silly, odd, cute that he had it all with him, until I realized the reason, and then I cried again.  He knows how I feel about diamonds.  Due to the conflicts in Africa and blood diamonds, I am not a fan.  I would have been happy with Moissanite or even Cubic Zirconia.  Instead, he sought out a conflict-free diamond.  He read me the certified guarantee and gave me a copy for safe-keeping.  That is love, my friends.  That is love!

The ring!

Here are some pictures of our night. At one point I felt like everything was worthy of a photo.  Believe it or not, I've spared you a few.

Love was all around us, popping up everywhere to say hello!  J said it was because it was Valentine's weekend. was because it was our ENGAGEMENT weekend...obviously!

So freakin' sweet.  Seriously. 

Day Two...

The Cheese Haus and the mouse statue are a special thing between us.  The two ladies that were taking our pics were so in love with our love.  It was such a joyful moment.  That's why I kept the second pic...even though my eyes are closed.

Even the taffy kisses!

What's a trip to Frankenmuth without a stop for fudge.  We sweeten up the entire family with fudgey goodness.

Are you sick of us yet? 
In one of the shops they had a shop kitty.  Her name was Diamond.  Fitting, huh?!  She loved J.  J loves animals and they love him.  However, when I tried to pet her, she scurried away.  Nice.
We ended our visit with a visit to the St. Julian Winery.  We tasted lots of samples, took a little tour, and had a special bottle made up just for us.  It was the perfect ending  to our weekend.

To Be Continued...

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Cirque du Soleil - Alegria

What a wonderful night! I love Cirque performances.  I have seen La Nouba in Orlanda, FL and also "O" at the Bellagio in Las Vegas.  Sunday I was able to add Alegria to that list.  Each one is so different and so amazing.  It's always a mesmerizing show and I cannot wait for the next one...hopefully it will be LOVE, the Beatles Tribute back in Las Vegas.

I'm already planning my Halloween costume for this year.  I want to be HER! Isn't she lovely? 
She was the main performer/singer for the show.

We had great seats and I knew cameras would not be allowed, but I brought it anyway.  I was right - they were not allowed.  As a matter of fact, they were "strictly prohibited!"

This was made quite clear the moment we parked our car.  This was the first of many signs right from the parking attendant.  I had my camera disguised in my hat, covered by it's strap, in the bottom of my purse.  I'm no rookie.  I've done this before.  You could not see it.  In it was coming!  We hand over our tickets.  We go through the metal detectors.  We get our purses checked. We get our camera purses handed back to us.  They didn't see it.  Then....the lady asks us if we have any cameras or video-recording devices on our person.  Gulp!  I don't lie.  I should have.  "Yes, ma'am...I have a camera."  Dummy, dummy, dummy!  I was escorted along with multiple others to go check our camera.  It was fine.  I wouldn't have used it anyway because somewhere between the ages of 25 and 29 I became a chicken....or maybe a grown up.  You pick.

After the fabulous show I was given my camera back.  Thankyouverymuch!  I tried to snap a quick shot of my momma and me in the parking structure.  Lol! We had a few attempts!

I love my mom so much.  She is an amazing woman who always puts others first...including me.  I am blessed by her. I LOVE YOU MOM!!!

After that, we were off.  It was too cold to walk around downtown and take pics, so I snapped a few from the moving vehicle.  Not my finest work to say the least... 

Saturday, February 6, 2010

365 days of photos

I love to take photographs.  You capture a smile, a moment, a memory.  Sometimes you just take the mundane and make it look pretty.  Some days, like February 3, 2010 you capture your morning commute, through a dirty, cracked windshield.  Whatever it is on the other side of that lense, you capture it, you look back at it and you remember.

Feel free to take a peek at my life through pictures in the first 37 days of 2010.

Friday, February 5, 2010

So scarce

I haven't posted in almost a month, and that is okay.  I don't always have a lot to say...and when I do it might not make sense to most of you.

I have been reading a lot and reflecting and exercising and making healthy meals and baking bread from scratch and doing lots of laundry and catching up with old friends and working on building relationships with new ones, with God, with my family and with J.  I guess I have been busy and i'll use that as my reasoning for not posting often.