Tuesday, October 23, 2012

A fairy tale

Once upon a time, there was a little girl who never, ever picked up after herself. She dropped anything and everything wherever she felt it necessary, which ended up being anywhere and everywhere. She was young, and her family, naive as they were, felt she was too young to have chores, and generally would pick up after her.

One day, the little girl was asked to clean up a mess on the table after she had eaten a snack.

"but," she replied. "That's Grandma's job, that's not my job!"

Thus ended her era of never having to lift a finger. The family is now considered a bunch of slave drivers, who are ruthless and do horrible things such as request food to be put away, and require her to follow through when she commits to doing something.

Many years later, she appreciated her parents and what they had done for her.

The end.

I imagine "many years" is roughly equal to about 30 or 40 but fairy tales rarely cover that span of time.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

I don't forgive you...yet

Thursday night was fairly uneventful, from snuggling with kidlet, to telling her it was time for PJs and she did a  little happy dance and skipped off giggling "hooray!", which is rarely the reaction to PJs/bedtime. After a few minutes of giggling at Disney channel silliness, we popped her in the shower to get the Kid Grime off.

That sentence belies what really happened though. It went more like this:

"Mom, would you help me?"
Me - "No, I'm cleaning up/doing laundry/stuffing my face. Go start your shower."
(It should be noted here that she is perfectly capable of starting, showering, ending and drying off after her shower without assistance.)

"But Mooooooooooooooooooom!! I need help rinsing my hair!" Said while still fully clothed, simply standing in the bathroom. The water's not even on.

Me - "I will help you rinse your hair, but you need to actually START YOUR SHOWER, as I've now asked 4 times."

"But, will you be in here with me? It just makes me feel more comfortable."

Me - "Nope, sorry kiddo. I'll be in there in a minute to rinse your hair. Use your time wisely!" 
Img source: http://prattlenog.com/2010/04/28/productive-procrastination/

This exchange was repeated about 3 times, so by the time the water was actually turned on, and her clothes came off to get in, 10-15 minutes had passed. Seriously, kidlet? You could have been in and out in that time!

After the shower, she went around to all the family members and said her good nights - grandma, grandpa, the cat (who tolerates good nights, but really would prefer that she ignore him as much as he ignores us), and dad. We shuffle into her room, where she takes a flying leap facefirst into the bed, giggling maniacally.

One of these days, I swear, she's going to miss her mark, and it's not going to be funny, but will make for an epic story later in life.

After wrapping her in the vintage sleeping bag my parents handed down to us (seriously, this thing is from the 70's, and is still mostly going strong. I can't believe it's survived this long!), layering a down blanket, and then her favorite quilt, which was Matt's when he was a baby, on the very top, she's finally ready to hear a story and go to sleep.

I settle in read some of her favorite, Doctor Doolittle. Being the big Doctor Who fan that I am, every time he's referenced as "the good Doctor" in this book, I immediately flash to Doctor Who, instead of the doctor they're actually referencing. After reading for a few minutes, I snuggle with kidlet a little, and go to move her wet hair out from under her head to make it a bit more comfortable as she's falling asleep.

Unfortunately, as kids are wont to do, she moved unexpectedly as I moved my hand to do so, and I ended up poking her directly in the eye with an outstretched finger.

Img source: http://www.banklawyersblog.com/.a/6a00d8341c652b53ef0120a7f4ac0d970b-popup

Poor thing! It would have been a Three Stooges type scene, except it was a direct hit, and of course hurt like the dickens. I apologized over and over, gave her lots of hugs and kisses and snuggles. Poor thing, she valiantly tried not to cry, but I could tell it was hurting her pretty badly. Once she felt she could open her eye again, I held up the nightlight we were using to see if I'd actually cut her or anything. Thankfully no broken skin was to be seen, but goodness, her poor eye!

I apologized many more times before she fell asleep, but I noticed something. Not once did she say "it's ok", which is her typical response.

This makes me VERY proud. Automatic forgiveness is not always going to come, and we've talked about how you can accept someone's apology without the "it's ok" dismissal that kind of downplays what happened to warrant the apology. I'm certain she will eventually forgive me, but I understand that it might take a bit, because I managed to really hurt her.

Img Source: http://terabrite.tv/im-so-sorry-about-the-massive-amount-of-posts-please-forgive-us/

We'll talk more about the incident as her eye feels better, and see how she's processing it. Just because someone says they're sorry, doesn't mean you are required to forgive them straight away. God gives us the grace of forgiveness, and in our brokenness, it can take time for us to see our way to forgiving others. God also gives us patience, and I'm glad to be patient in this case, because I don't want her spouting empty words. When she decides to forgive me, I want it to be her decision, not because it's what she feels pressured to say.

How do you deal with the "I'm sorry" and "I forgive you" scenarios in your life? 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Anything Can Happen!

It's Anything Can Happen Thursday!

Bonus points if you know where I got that idea :)

The things I mentioned that are stressing me out are still hanging on, but I'm taking action to see if I remove the stress factors from my life. While I'm still having to deal with it, and it's still an issue, I don't feel powerless or helpless. God will help me through this, no matter what happens He will be with me. I have to repeat this to myself rather often, it's very easy to look sight of that fact in the situation.

In happier news, things are looking fabulous with KL Photography! I've booked a shoot in a few weeks, and I'm shooting a series I'm calling Women of Strength, featuring the fierce ladies of Portland, OR. The first installment can be seen here, but here's a little taste as well :)


Monday, October 15, 2012

Monday Mashup

Incredible sunrise on my way to work a week ago
I experimented a little in the kitchen. Top wedge is the eggplant, which was mostly ok. I definitely need a recipe next time.
GORGEOUS shoes I scored at Salvation Army, nearly new, $8. 
The flower that caused the trouble written about here
Inspirational quote I have next to my desk at work. It's positioned so that I see it when I enter or leave my desk (it's on the wall) and it has to do with everything in life, not just running. I will be better than I was yesterday at being patient. I will be better than I was yesterday about making healthy choices. Each little step adds up to the journey.
Gorgeous, intriguing burned out building where I was able to shoot with a few friends for a new photography series that I'll release soon.
My look for a shoot in which I was a -model- rather than a photographer. Someone gave me an ax. Oh dear.
My wall of accomplishments. These are my 2012 races, and I will be framing them soon. I haven't decided how I'm going to set it up yet, so they're still just on my wall. Regardless, I feel a surge of pride every time I look at the display :)

Friday, October 12, 2012

Plant an egg, what do you get?

Things are incredibly stressful right now. I can't write about them online, but prayers would be most welcomed. I'm afraid I'm not very chatty right now, hence the quiet blog.

However, I did experiment with cooking eggplant last night. "Experiment" in this case means "sliced and cooked on the stove-top without any research or recipe"...so I hope it turned out. It's in the office fridge right now.

What are your favorite eggplant recipes?

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

My Knight In Shining Armor Has A Beard

This past weekend, Matt and I went on a little trip up North, to see our beloved Timbers play against the Seattle Sounders for the Cascadia Cup. If you're not familiar, the Cascadia Cup is a regional award, competed for between Vancouver BC, Seattle WA, and Portland OR soccer teams.

Sunday was an absolute blast, even though Matt and I didn't get to ride the same buses up to the game (long story, it wasn't a big deal). We didn't win, unfortunately, and between that and very poor security tactics by CenturyLink Stadium staff and event personnel, the ride back to Portland was mostly quiet, frustrated, and filled with more drinking. We were LOUD and happy and excited on the way up, and a fair bit of alcohol was passed around the buses, but most of us just slept and tried to forget the mess we just left in Seattle.

Not our bus, but this was about what it looked like after the match. Source: http://naijatalkative.blogspot.com/2012/08/do-you-sleep-in-bus-while-travelling.html

When we arrived back in Portland, I texted Matt to see about how long till his bus would arrive, as there were a total of 18 buses carrying all of us, and his had been delayed in leaving the stadium. He was about 15 minutes away at that point, so I waited around with a few people from my bus, the empty keg, and a pile of Timbers Army flags. My bus buddy went off to move her car closer, as a friend she was waiting on was riding the same bus as Matt.

I thought, considering the flags and keg were sitting there, that our bus captain would stick around until the last bus came to load the empty stuff onto. This seems logical to everyone I've talked to, but apparently he didn't seem to think that needed to happen, so he left...and now I'm alone with all this stuff, at midnight, in Portland. I don't have a problem being alone at night in the city, but this area was pretty deserted, as most people were exhausted and headed out right away.

Not where I was - Source: http://scatblogging.blogspot.com/2012/03/we-own-night.html

So, I waited for Bus Buddy to get back, and checked in with Matt again to see where he was. He was getting there, but they weren't just down the street or anything yet.

Then, a guy from my bus walked up and started to chat with me. It was immediately obvious he was blind drunk, the man could barely hold his eyes open. I don't typically enjoy drunken company anyway, and I was already a bit uncomfortable because there were so few people around, and none nearby. He was nice, complimentary and it became apparent that he was trying to hit on me, asking about a boyfriend, etc.

When I mentioned that my husband (lots of emphasis when I said it) wouldn't take too kindly to my having a boyfriend, he backed up a bit, but continued to talk to me. He was still nice, but I was uncomfortable, and trying to figure out how to get out of the situation without leaving my camera and stuff alone on the sidewalk behind him.

Just then, the heavens opened, angels sang, a light shone down, and trumpets sounded.

there was no water. Source: http://www.gerhardy.id.au/epiph1_09.htm
A lovely gentleman I know, with an epic beard and a killer sense of humor, named Mo, comes strolling up the sidewalk out of nowhere. He grins at me, says "hey" and comes and puts his head on my shoulder. We are acquainted just enough with each other to banter and joke, and to the drunken eye, we can seem as though we know each other more than we actually do. Mo turns then, and tells Drunk Dude he's my husband. We chat several more minutes, in which Mo throws in we've been hitched for 3 1/2 years, and remember when he told Drunk Dude he had a redheaded wife he was saving a spot in line for?

Best part of this scene? Mo didn't know what we were talking about when he came up, he simply saw how uncomfortable I was and that Drunk Dude wasn't reading body language, and intervened.

Drunk Dude eventually wandered off, Mo stayed with me and hung out, chatting util my Bus Buddy came back and Matt's bus showed up.

We all said good night, big thank yous to Mo and a hug for saving my bacon, and went our separate ways. I see him at Timbers matches on occasion, but obviously Matt and I need to get to know this guy a bit better - he's a good one. :)

Friday, October 5, 2012

Exhaustion & Grammar

I'm super exhausted lately. It's quite frustrating, because I'm sleeping from 7-9 hours a night, eating regularly and all that. I'm tired down to my bones, I feel like I'm moving through molasses, and my brain is still back in bed. I agreed to help sew patches on a couple of Girl Scout vests for a good friend, and while I have one done now, I have zero motivation to finish the other.

Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/dallaportfolio/

In happier news, I got to see a good friend last night, get a new tattoo (EEE!!! pictures once it's healed), and I get to see another good friend today. Tomorrow is Saturday (hooray!) and Sunday Matt and I are headed up to Flounderville (aka Seattle) for a the big Cascadia cup game of Timbers vs. Flounders. That will be a lot of fun, and we're riding in buses with the Army, so it'll be relaxing, loud and awesome.

In my perusal of the Internet today (amazing that I can surf endlessly, even when I have zero energy) I came across this graphic that sums up my feelings quite well:

Source: http://edhenninger.wordpress.com/2012/04/29/grammar-in-a-graphic/

Monday, October 1, 2012

Confessions of a book abuser

Through a discussion with Matt this weekend, after purchasing a friend's debut book, he told me that he feels I abuse books. He's mentioned his pet peeves regarding this before, but never actually used those words. I honestly felt a bit like I'd been kicked.

I've held for a long time that I am not one of those people who abuse books. Yet I have habits that point toward my being one of those people after all: I dog ear corners to mark my place, I read in the bathtub (since I was a teen, I have never dropped a book in there but the inherent risk is there), and sometimes I lay the book out flat. Matt insists I break spines too, but I don't!

However, this list along with writing in books (agh, never!) are general hallmarks of one who abuses books.

So yes, I used to be a book abuser. 

That is changing, as of yesterday. I've been trying for a long time to stop my habit of folding the corners of pages, and I have no idea when I started this habit. Yesterday I grabbed a used Timbers ticket, and that is my new bookmark. I won't take books in the bathtub with me anymore, just magazines, and I will refrain from laying the book out flat.

I hereby vow to do the following:

  • Use a bookmark, every time
  • Never fold down pages
  • Close the book when I am not reading it
  • No longer take a book to the bath with me
  • Huff book fumes until I'm dizzy

I do respect the written word, I adore the smell of book glue and old libraries, but that respect in my mind hasn't translated into my actions. I know this may not seem very important to some of you, but opening my eyes to this was a punch to the gut. It's quite important to me, as books are a huge part of my life and always have been, and so it's important to me that my habits change.

Starting now, my actions will reflect my love of the written word.