About Me

The cost of my yes.

I’m reading a book with my women’s bible study called “Present Over Perfect” and while I’m only halfway through, generally the premise is that so often we get stuck trying to be everything for everyone, except for those we really need to be there for.  We’ll bend over backwards for those who are in our “outer circle” (your happy hour buddies, friends I see 3x a year) but they aren’t really our “people”.  My people are my family, my closest friends… these are the people that I’m going to call when I get crazy news – good or bad.

And as a result, we live this frantic life trying to do, do, do.  We leave no margin in our life and so we are exhausted and overrun. We keep ourselves busy doing unimportant tasks for people who really aren’t that important to us.  We’ll cancel our family plans because our boss’ boss asked us to start a huge project at 4pm on a Friday (due Monday morning).  Or we’ll try to take on the Team Mom, Room Mom and PTA Coordinator roles – but by the time our kids get off the bus, we’re wiped out and angry because we’ve been stretched too thin trying to be too much for everyone else.

I can completely relate to this.  I often say yes to too much and then our family life suffers.  I sign us up to volunteer for events, or to host friends on the same day we have back-to-back sports activities.  I find I either say YES to everything, or YES to nothing.  It’s hard to find that happy medium.  So our life will be crazy hectic for 4-5 weeks and then completely dead for a month or two so we can recover.

Even when I’m resting, I’m not really resting.  I’m mentally planning my kid’s upcoming birthday party or I’m folding laundry while I relax and watch a show. I think mom’s are especially guilty because we take on so much when it comes to our children. I want to be super mom and working mom and helper/volunteer mom and party planning mom and playdate mom.  I want it all.

But at what cost?  That’s what I’m trying to figure out.  How can I really find the balance that we need for our family?  This book has really helped me remember that sometimes saying YES to something only feels important for a moment, but when I look back at my life, does my YES really matter.  I want to do things that make our family better.  That give us more margin to do things God might spring on us.  Not to have us suffering as we run from one activity to the next, one to-do list to the next.

Advertisements

Unpopular Opinions

Funny how there are some things that “everyone” loves that you just can’t get on board with?  Whether it’s a tv show or movie that everyone is raving about or a particular type of shoe.  And it’s funny how hard the “adorers” push that product, like they’ll be able to convince you with their words that it really is funny/delicious/comfortable/etc.

Here are some of my unpopular opinions:

  • Cheesecake is gross. Yes, I went there to start. I know many people claim cheesecake is the best dessert ever – in fact, it’s my husband’s dessert of choice!  I can’t get on board. I feel like cream cheese needs to be incorporated into salty foods, not sweet.
  • Goat cheese. I figure these kinda go together. The popular and trendy cheese tastes like moldy cream cheese to me.  I can’t even “eat around it” just getting a little in my mouth makes me want to scrape my tongue off.
  • Seinfeld. This show is terrible. It’s so annoying how they never get to the point. And I understand that is the premise, but I just feel like I’m wasting precious minutes of my life if it’s on.  (Again, my husband loves this show and owns several seasons on DVD so it’s a case of opposites attract).
  • Coffee.  I don’t really like coffee-flavored items, but even worse for me is the feeling coffee gives me. It makes me feel jittery and hungover. Plus if you drink coffee, that taste just infiltrates your tongue for the rest of the day, no matter what you’re eating!
  • Apple products.  I know, the masses are against me! My brain doesn’t work that way. And I realize that I’m SUPPOSED to love Apple as 30-something who likes to do creative work.  But give me a PC any day of the week. The only Apple product I have is an iPod and even there, I only use it for running.
  • Sci Fi/Fantasy anything. I don’t like  Star Trek, X-Men, Star Wars etc.  I like things that can have a real interpretation – something that could potentially happen.  I’ll stick with my romantic comedy, adventure, crime/drama flicks.
  • Dark Chocolate. I’m not sure if this is really an unpopular opinion because I think most of the world prefers milk chocolate.  But I’ve had a few friends who say they prefer dark chocolate items and dark chocolate tastes too bitter. Milk chocolate for life!

What about your unpopular opinions?  Anything that the world loves and you can’t stand?

Who is going to watch chick flicks with me?

I’m a mom with no daughters.  This means I don’t really having shopping buddies in my household. Nor is there anyone who wants to go get their nails done the one or two times a year I do this.  I guess since I’m not girly girly, it worked out well for me to have boys.

But, who is going to watch chick flicks with me?

I saw Troop Beverly Hills was playing over the weekend, so of course, I had to record it.  It was one of my favorite movies as a little girl and I hadn’t seen it in at least 20 years.

I decided to ask my boys to watch with me.

They weren’t as impressed. But we didn’t get to the songs part… yet. So I’m still holding out hope that they’ll like some of the movies I grew up on.

wknd10

wknd11

Just living in this “all boys” world!

P.S. And yes, I am crazy and don’t like the “glaring tv brand light” on the front of my tv so I keep a postcard in front 24/7/365.  Don’t worry about that little blue light, it goes away when I turn the tv off – otherwise I’d have a postcard there, too 🙂

Married: 8 years

8 years.  In eight years, we’ve done a lot.  We’ve had two kids, lived in two houses, changed jobs, participated in several couples bible studies, taken lots of beach trips, a few international vacations and more.

deans-2

Yes, those are the big things.  But the big things are just that – big – extraordinary – not the norm.  It’s actually the little things that really make up our marriage.

In those 8 years we’ve gone grocery shopping together over 500 times, we’ve tucked in the kids over 2,300 times, we’ve made 2,000+ dinners together – some out of a box, some from scratch, and we’ve watched every episode of Big Bang Theory. But that’s not all.

deansx-2

We’ve also had at least 100 fights – some big, some small – and we’ve apologized at least that often.  We’ve disagreed on everything from decorating our house (no we aren’t going with his purple Ravens Man Cave idea) to disciplining our kids. I still yell at him at least once a week about his driving skills and he “reminds” me not to be quite so opinionated whenever I meet someone for the first time.

deansx-3

But there have also been hundreds of kisses; huge, enveloping hugs at just the right moment; laughter in bed as we talk about our life (and kids!) and so many fears, secrets and dreams shared.

It’s been a busy 8 years, and I’m thankful for every day of it.

deans-3

Being an extroverted introvert.

When I meet people in social settings, people are often shocked when I disclose that I’m an introvert.  They just assume since I often speak up and don’t tend to seem shy that I’m extroverted.  And the location varies, it might be at a wedding, church outing or meeting a friend’s group of friends that I’ve never hung out with before.  Because I carry a unique trait of being an extroverted introvert I can “turn on” a fun, outgoing, social personality in those settings.  I don’t have to be a wallflower, I can be the life of a party.  But there is a challenge that comes with this trait – it can be draining.

Because my natural, most comfortable state is down time at home with my boys, when we have social events, I have to “turn on” my fun side.  And sometimes I can actually feel myself doing it.  And I like to turn on my fun side a couple times a month, but if I do it too often, it completely drains me.

As a result, I have to be careful about how we schedule our months.  If I put too much on our calendar, I can get overwhelmed with all of our social events and I have a hard time recovering in between.  It’s as if I tap out at 2 events per week. Sometimes just the thought of so many events coming up stresses me out because I know I’ve jam packed our month with activities, so you can bet that the next month, I’ll be saying “no” to a bunch of social events in order to let myself recover.

June is going to be one of those months for me. Not necessarily that I’ll need to turn on “fun Ginger” because many of the events are with family and I don’t really do it with them, but we have a jam packed calendar this month, so I can guarantee that we’ll be taking July easy this year!

Does anyone else share this weird trait where they are more of an extroverted introvert?

I’m living my best years.

I’m in my mid thirties (or “13” as Brooks always corrects! Thirteen, thirty… same difference!) and I really think these are the best years.  If someone came to me at the end of my life and asked what years I’d like to relive, I think these would be it!  Here’s why:

I’ve got more than a couple years of marriage under my belt and my life with Dean is so fun and comfortable.  We know what to expect from each other. We know what drives each other crazy. We know how to push buttons and we know how that special thing that will make our other half feel loved.

Our kids are at the perfect age.  Really, as frustrated as I can get at bedtime and despite the never ending struggle to get Brooks to eat a full meal at dinner, these kids are at an awesome age. They’re somewhat self sufficient, but they’re still so quick to forgive, they show endless love, and they just enjoy their parents.  I love this stage. I’m not fighting for a cuddle and I get tons of “just because” hugs. Too soon, they’ll be pulled by friends, activities and other things that compete for their time and we won’t get the same unconditional love we’re getting now.

The thirties are great for your confidence.  I had some pretty good confidence in my college and post-college years, and it’s at least tripled since I’ve had kids and slowed down my life pace.  I just generally don’t care about what other people think about how I’m living my life.  To each his own.  That’s not to say I don’t struggle with a little keeping-up-with-the-Joneses, wanting-what-others-have-itis at times, but I definitely care more about my personal self-evaluation versus what others think.

My body is still strong and capable.  While I’m not as limber as I was in my high school/college heyday, and I definitely have to stretch more in one week than I did in an entire season of volleyball growing up, I love that my body is still strong enough to exercise, run, lift things, carry two little boys and more.  I know that as the years pass, I’ll hit a point where some of these physical traits slow and I’m just thankful I’m not there yet.

I’ve also gained a little wisdom.  Not a ton. But I’ve definitely noticed some gray-hair worthy thoughts as I’ve grown.  Some are attributed to great bible studies I’ve been part of, some to the circle I surround myself with and some just the result of many years of adulthood.

By my mid-30s, I’ve settled into my career. I’m not the low-man-on-the-totem-pole (although I’m not above paper filing on occasion) and when I come to work each day, I have a ton of variety to my work and I just really enjoy what I get to do.   I love the challenge that comes with it and how much I still learn each week. And with over 10 years at work, we have financial security allowing us to do great things like take fun family trips, put our kids in special activities and just live a comfortable life.

Yes, I really think the 30s are awesome and I’m in the best years of life!

 

By the Numbers.

5 – episodes of Suits I watched last week.  What can I say, I’m addicted.  My SIL recommended it and I’ve been hooked since episode 1.  At least I force myself to eliptic-ize while I watch!  Harvey is awesome.

7 – the magic hour that I need my kids to sleep to.  8 would be awesome. But I don’t mind 7. (Particularly because Dean is usually the morning riser.)

3 – number of meds Brooks is currently on for his allergies.  Poor guy.

6 – number of house projects on my priority DIY to-do list.  Finish crown molding, re-do kids toy cubby, hang new bathroom fixtures, make shelf for B room, hang curtains in bedroom, paint half bath.

37 – number of tshirts I own. How do I know this? Because I just had to fold each one of them to transfer to a new dresser.  At least 10 are Elevation Church shirts! Hoarder.

5 – number of tomato plants in our 2016 garden (so far).  Three of them came up on their own from last years tomatoes that dropped into the soil.  I’m guessing we might get 1 or 2 more that come up on their own.

0 – number of squash plants this year.  They weren’t a hit last year 🙂

11 – number of birthdays/holidays that fall between Feb 26 and Father’s Day in our family.  And some of these dates require multiple gifts (i.e. Father’s Day means gifts for Dean’s dad, my dad and Dean).  That’s a lot of gift giving in 3.5 months.