Thursday, June 29, 2006

Foot Fettish

Don’t ask me why these things even rise to the surface of my consciousness,
but they do…

I was in a meeting and the chair of the meeting took off his shoes in
the middle of the meeting and put his feet up on a chair…

And then…he wiggled his brown-socked toes…

Um…ok…

First note to self…don’t ever sit in THAT chair.

Second note to self… “OH, no he DIDN’T!”

Yes…he did.

And here we are, in this meeting, talking about serious issues and
resolutions…the shoeless man, three other men (who’s feet remained
firmly in their shoes) and the one lone woman…

All I can think about is those shoeless feet…over there….on that
chair…toes a-wiggling…

Yea…my focus is gone…

Is this appropriate meeting behavior?

Not for me…I cannot imagine ever…EVER…sitting in a meeting with several
other people, kicking of my shoes and plopping my feet up on a chair.

Now…I’m not a fanatic…really…

Ok…I have issues with the women who wear sandals and they sort of have
hooves…you know…that hard, cracked skin on the heels…I just don’t do
that…and frankly seeing other women do it grosses me out. I keep
thinking, WEAR TENNIES OR BUY A PUMICE!!!!! Or, gasp, get a pedicure…

But other than that, I’m just not that radical about feet…

I think shoes should be polished and have complete shoelaces…but that is
about where my fanaticism ends…unless of course you are wearing
sandals…in which case, see the above paragraph again…

And I’m a bare-footer. If I’m home, I’m barefoot or in my stocking
feet.


I prefer to be able to kick off my shoes and put them back on very
quickly…hence a lot of shoes that are the front-only or sandal kind…

I am a year-round flip-flop wearer…

If I’m in my best friends house, I’m barefoot or in my stocking feet –
as is she…they do not wear shoes in the house AT ALL! (note to
self…should start this in my own home to save the carpet.)

I have been known to kick off my shoes under my desk on hot days…You
know…when I’m ALONE!

I’ve been shoeless in groups when the occasion called for it…pool party,
on the beach, in Hawaii it seemed like everyone was barefoot everywhere,
at a party where we all left our shoes at the door, at my mom’s where
you take off your snowy boots in the hall so you don’t track a bunch of
muck all over the house…

But I can safely say, I’ve never gone sans-shoe in a meeting…it just
shouldn’t be done…and one should ESPECIALLY not wiggle their toes so as
to draw attention to the shoeless meeting feet.

It got me pondering my rules of etequitte…or…at least where I think a
shoeless foot is inappropriate…

Here’s my list..

Meetings, of course were at the top…because…well…you know…

ANYWHERE that food is within inches…so…if you are serving some snacks on
the coffee table, bare feet (or even those with socks and/or shoes!)
should not also be on that table. Not that I’ve personally ever seen
it, but I think I probably MUST say it…not on the dining room or kitchen
room table either!!!

In the mall…

In any store that doesn’t sell shoes…and let me further qualify this by
adding – AND you are trying on some of those shoes for sale. And let me
qualify this further…the grocery store sells flip-flop shoes…just by the
$2 things and leave your own tootsies ON, for goodness sake!

Any home where you have not been invited to remove your shoes…

Or where the floor is filthy…

Or where babies are crawling around…strange bare feet should not be on
the same floor as a crawling baby….

At church…unless you go to a church that has services on the beach…and
if you do, where do you go to church? I wanna visit!

In restaurants…again, unless said establishment WELCOMES such a
thing…like a taco stand on the beach or an ocean-facing walk-up ice
cream vendor.

Driving the car…this really bothers me…barefoot drivers…don’t ask me
why…I have no answer.

Riding any two-wheel (or three wheel) transportation…lets see…that
includes bikes and trikes and scooters and skateboards and motorcycles
and atvs and any number of other things…these are places to ALWAYS wear
closed toe shoes…I have an ugly toenail to prove it…I’ll post a picture
if you need further encouragement to protect your tooties and our
streets while riding such transportation…

In school…any type of class…college, grade, summer, basket
weaving…whatever…one exeption…if you are the recipient of a pedicure in
a cosmetology class.

At the doctor…really, ladies…barefoot and pregnant is an EXPRESSION…they
DO, indeed, make shoes in your size, even if that size has changed
considerably from what it was 9 months ago…

And finally, on the walk from your hotel to the pool…

One more thing…

Barefoot babies are cute…that’s allowed…but once they can walk and are
not obsessively removing their footwear, they should have their shoes
on…

Peace everyone!

Saturday, June 24, 2006

24 Weeks

This is me….24 weeks…yikes…

24 weeks copy

Status: Healthy baby, healthy mama (who has only gained ONE more pound his month…that’s a total of 6 for those of you counting).

Who knew I could eat so much and not really gain any weight? It helps that I don’t like things like chocolate and French fries so much, don’t you think? Its all about the watermelon, strawberries, pears, salads, cottage cheese, grilled chicken…is TRULY what I want…no cravings for weird stuff….I DO love my ice cream! BUT have found that a little is quite as satisfying as a lot and so I’m just good about portions. THANK GOODNESS I’m pregnant in summer when all this fruit is available and the ice cream is abundant! HA!

Mr. Jayden is right on track, measuring just as he should for 24 weeks.

Been busy on the nursery and spent the morning downloading some new music and checking up…I feel like I got all caught up! WHEW!!

Scrap room is done and I’m ready to start the “pre-album” for Jayden…if I get really ambitious, I will post some pics…I’m not making any guarantees, tho!!!

Got my plane reservations for CA…all of you in CA will be getting e-mail, invitations or SOMETHING soon to let you know all about it…YEA!! I’m so excited…

OH, and Kathy – just for you…here is my BIG TOE!!! Not the funky one…but the pretty one….and just because you asked.!

big toe

Peace, everyone!

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Purpose…

Here’s a sticky question for my Tuesday morning rant and rave…

What is your purpose?

This could be pregnancy…

Or too much time away from my friends and family…

Or a new house…

Or a new job…

Or any of the myriad of wonderful things that are going on around me…

But I am quite focused on this question…

What is my purpose?

I’ve watched as the lives of a few people I love have disintegrated over the last few months…and I’ve been trying to figure out WHY this thing happens.

What happens that we lose the motivation to live the way that enriches our lives?

What happens in a life that makes a person go from a vital, active, person full of life to somebody who gets up late, doesn’t shower and spends the day in front of the internet, the tv, video games, a bottle of alcohol, meaningless “friendships” with the wrong people, random sex…and the list goes on and on?

I have to ask myself…what keeps me from that place? Sure, I’ve had my occasional lazy Sunday, but generally, I like to get up and get going. Life is so full of promise…there are things to done and people to see and stuff to be organized or created or discovered.

I cannot imagine how hopeless a life must feel, day in and day out, with this monotony of nothing to motivate, nothing to give a person a reason to LIVE rather than exist.

And I asked myself…what is MY purpose? Why do I have ambition? Why is it important to me to feel alive?

There are lots of things….

I like the feeling of checking things off “the list”…my master list of things that need doing…

I like the feeling of looking around my home and seeing the evidence that I’ve been a good steward of God’s amazing blessing to me by keeping it in order and clean and tidy.

I like stumbling upon new concepts, being touched by the Word of God in my reading, and seeing things a new way for the first time.

I like that “AH HA!” moment..

I enjoy solving the puzzles of life and I love hearing the voices of my friends and family as they share their lives with me.

I enjoy being with other people…the relationships and the struggles and realization that we are all so very much alike.

I am driven to make a difference in my tiny little spot of the world…

I am driven to care deeply about the people and places and things that God has brought into my life at this season, to appreciate what they have to bring to my microcosm and to be touched by and learn from the moments they create…

If a stranger came to my street and drove into my driveway, I’d want him to see a well-kept yard, a clean and tidy home, to be welcomed with a friendly smile from a face that is ready for the day and offered a cold drink over which to converse.

To me, these things say, “I know I am blessed and as long as these are my blessings, I will care for them to the best of my ability.”

Somebody once said to me, “You are all the God that some people will ever see in their life time.”

And I ask myself…when I live my life in the day to day, does the way I live speak to the fact that I know Jesus? Does the way I live show others that I know I’m blessed beyond measure – not because I earned it, but because of God’s Grace?

Do I wake up each morning and set out for my day with that thought in my mind – Today, I may be all the “God” that somebody sees…

Well…no…

But I think that IS my purpose…to live my life fully appreciative of my wondrous blessings and to willingly be an open, sharing, helpful, diligent, mindful, loving, consistent, child of God…

Hmmmm….

Peace, everyone!

Monday, June 12, 2006

Part-Timers

Something I’ve become painfully aware of and find…

Well…

Frankly baffling…

It’s the part-timer mentality…

Its everywhere I look…

Infomercials on TV talk about earning a full time income for working on a part-time basis…

Part-time parents – a mother or father divorced from their mate who only sees their kids on the weekends and expect the “other” people in their lives to fully raise them.

There are part-time spouses –who only manage to show up in their marriages when its convenient for them or there is nothing else going on.

There are part-time workers who think that they are fully justified expecting high salaries, fringe benefits and all the perks, but cannot be counted upon to see something through from beginning to end…

There are part-time Christians – C(hristmas) and E(aster) Christians, or Sunday church goers who will gladly throw God right out the window on a Tuesday morning of their mood dictates it…or, who call upon God only when they are in need and never any other time.

There are part-time friends who can only be available for the fun stuff…or only when they need you to listen to them because things are difficult in their lives right now.

There is part-time attention, where its somehow ok to take a mental trip in the middle of a conversation, lesson, lecture or activity if one is not completely entertained the entire time…

And this is what I find baffling…all these people running around with their part-time mentality think somehow that they are entitled to full-time compensation and benefits for their half-effort approach to everything.

And I have to ask…what the heck is everybody thinking?????

Here is the deal…

If you really look into the entrepreneurial world, you aren’t going to find people making millions without working their butts off (unless they win the lottery, that is)…they don’t work 20 hours a week right out of the chute and make their millions. They SLAVE over their businesses until they reach a point where the business is returning some reward...There really is no such thing as an overnight success…and if you believe there is, you are fooling yourself! (Don’t translate this to mean that making millions can't be done this way..I'm just saying, don't think its all play and no work to your great fortune!)

Part-time parents are raising children with wholly incomplete sense of the world…They don’t know who they are or what they are supposed to do…and, God forbid, if they ever have children of their own, they too will think that part-time parents are normal.

Part-time spouses lead to full-time divorce…Here’s a lovely clue…your spouse doesn’t HAVE to stick around and endure your neglect, anger, or lack of involvement anymore…there is no longer a stigma attached to being divorced.

Part time workers don’t get full time benefits…and are NOT entitled to any fringes…don’t expect a stellar review because you handled a project brilliantly part of the way through…

And God – eventually, even He grows weary of somebody always asking, asking, asking, with no repentance, no remorse, no sign of living the life He asks you to live.

Part time friends will find themselves alone…and hurting with nowhere to go someday.

And if you get a reputation of being the guy that checks out if you aren’t entertained, you may find yourself not trusted enough to make a real connection when you finally figure out you need one.

Part-time effort begets part-time results…

Ask yourself…

What am I not applying myself to?

What matters in my life that I’m not giving my all?

You might say – “I can’t give my all to everything in my life.”

And to that, (as a person who is VERY experienced in having too many things and not enough time to handle them all) I say, give some up. If you can’t apply yourself 100% to the task at hand, then you probably shouldn’t be attempting it.

You might ask, “What matters to me that is slipping away?”

Then investigate if you’ve given it all you have.

Are you that person? Are you a part-timer? Are you frustrated because you are not getting what you think you deserve? Do you think that somehow you deserve to have it all, even though you have not invested yourself even one solid day in your life?

Have you given ANYTHING all you have?

Have you committed 100% in anything besides being a part-timer?

My life got VERY simple in a big hurry when we moved here…and its been a very un-busy place since we moved. But life is still FULL. And I wonder how in the world I ever managed so many activities and outings and juggling in my life.

True, there are things I want to get plugged back into – like scrapbooking – and there are things I don’t care to ever get plugged back into. I’m happy with a simpler life…and I know I can apply myself FULLY to the things in it.

We are all looking for solid, trustworthy people to include in our lives…and, honestly, people will never fail to disappoint you. But somewhere along the line, every one of us will find ourselves in a position where we are desperate to connect, to plug in, to see the fruits of our labor harvested abundantly…

If that time comes and we have not given our lives and the things we include in them our 100% attention, we will be sorely disappointed. We won’t get the raise we expect, or have the trusting and loving friendships we need, or have a life-time spouse, or rewarding work that challenges our brain, or interesting topics to discuss with others…or anything for that matter…

We are called to invest ourselves…fully, completely and with abandon…and not to regret those places where we did not invest ourselves…

Here’s a powerful lesson…you cannot have “it all.” And trying will only wear you out and leave you bereft…

Here’s another – the grass might be greener on the other side of the fence, but there is something else missing there that you cannot see from your own yard. No on has it all…no one…even the person who fully knows, trusts in, believes in and is invested in God has something missing that they cannot quite put their finger on…it is the human condition…and it never….NEVER…goes away as long as you are breathing…

And here is another powerful lesson…you will get what you give. Call it Karma, call it the law of returns, call it whatever you want...you will only get back in this lifetime what you put out there. And a lovely twist to this – you don’t get things back from the same place you give. The homeless person for whom you purchase a meal isn’t going to show up on your doorstep one day with a gift for you…it will come from somewhere else.

And one more for the road…like attracts like…evil draws evil unto itself…and part-timers attract part-timers. If you want more from your life and the people in it, change your approach.

Try harder.

Apply yourself.

Be the guy who gives it your all.

Don’t be a part-timer.

Peace, everyone.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Luggage

So…

I started looking at my links on the side and realized…

I’m such a lazy blogger!!!

My music is all different right now…

I’m reading new stuff…

And my favorite blogger list DEFINITELY needs some updating!!!

I promise I’ll get to it soon…

It’s a time thing…you know how it is…

So…

Right now…

I’m reading Captivating by John and Stasi Eldridge.

If you are a woman who has ever felt alone (even in the midst of a loving
family and friends!), empty (even when life should be perfect) or desperate
for somebody to say, “I’m listening” this is a book for you.

When she describes how God created Woman as the climax of the creation
process – the most complicated and intricate piece of His creation – it
will bring you to tears…its stunning to read it and imagine it the way she
describes it.

It’s also stunning to have somebody spell out in very plain English that
Man and Woman were created in the image of God – both of them. Odd, you
might think…because we are so vastly different. But its just so
enlightening to read how we each represent different characteristics of God
and how it takes both to get an adequate picture of who our God is…

AND how many of the hurts and struggles we have as women are not due to
MEN, but to fallen Eve…such an earth-moving moment…I’m going to have to
read the book twice.

You will think of God and Beauty in an entirely new way – I promise.

So, I’m listening to some…uh…different things for me right now…

I’m very enamored of the song Boondocks by Little Big Town (I so identify with this being a small town girl…a small mining town, no less!) and Leave the Pieces by the Wreckers (which is actually Michelle Branch and Jessica Harp…so LOVE that their new record is called Stand Still and Look Pretty. It’s a tough chick thing…) and an old song by
Amanda Marshall called Beautiful Goodbye.

All songs I could listen to over and over and over again because of the
words, of course.

And lest you think I’m rambling aimlessly about things you probably care
NOTHING about…there is a theme here…

Forgiveness and heartache and getting past some things I’ve been holding on
to. And getting past what I WAS…

These are not new issues…I’ve been going around the mountain over these for
quite some time…You have read MANY entries on just such a topic!

But God is really challenging me to drop some baggage…

It’s kinda scary…

If my bags are a part of how I define myself, then dropping them becomes a
matter of figuring out just who I am without them.

Some of you might say, “Its as easy as letting go.”

I guess it is…

You know how they say that smokers have a lot of trouble with what to do
with their hands when they quit? Or when you have to make a speech and you
practice with a podium, but when you get there, there is no podium.

I sort of feel like that…

I don’t know what to do without my props!!! What do I do with my
metaphorical hands if I’m not juggling my bags?

I’ll tell you what – there is NOTHING to clean a slate like stepping out on
faith, cutting your losses and going someplace to start over.

But, as my fabulous husband says, “Where ever you go, there you are.”

And if you make the journey carrying baggage, well…there is your baggage
too.

Darn if you turn you back and run that those things aren’t always chasing
after you…

So…I’m working out what to do with my self-image, my identity, my dreams,
my desires, who I am…

I’ve made this much progress: I have figured out who I am NOT.

I’m NOT the stuff I’ve been carrying around in all my baggage all this
time…

Now…

If I could just pry my hand loose…

Peace everyone!

Monday, June 05, 2006

Ordinary things...

Well, well, well…

Another weekend come and gone…

And I’m so excited about…

Ordinary things…

A new kitchen table arriving in two weeks…a new kitchen table. I’ve not had a kitchen or dining room table for 10 years…

And I’m excited about

Having a kitchen table again…

To share meals, to use for reading, to spread out the Sunday paper…

We bought paint for the babie’s room…its called “Guacamole”

How fitting for baby who’s mama LOVES Mexican food!

It’s a perfect jungle color…

And I’m so excited about…

A new coat of paint…

The smell, the fresh look it will give his tiny room, the beginning of a nursery…A NURSURY!!!

I bought several new pairs of shorts for Scott…

And I’m excited about…

Sharing my blessings.

I loved seeing him take 10 pairs into the dressing room and come out with two he liked, how happy he was to sort through a pile of new shorts to choose, how grateful he seemed to have something new to put on…

We went to a new Italian restaurant for dinner last night…

And had an AMAZING meal that was just so simple…good bread, good Ceasar salad, some ravioli…

And I’m excited about…

A simple but amazing experience…

To taste, smell and watch something new, to discover a great new place that can be “ours,” to know that there can be so much pleasure in a simple experience…

I awakened to a cool, refreshing Monday morning, with the baby wriggling around inside of me and making me smile that he was already awake and movin’ and groovin’, and I thought how amazing…

Such an ordinary thing…to awake to a cool morning…

Such an ordinary thing…to feel your child move…

Such an ordinary thing…to reflect on a weekend ordinary things shared and accomplished and completed…

Such an ordinary thing…to look forward to a new day with coffee and cereal and the traffic report…

And I have so much appreciation for the fact that my life abundant with amazing, joyful, peaceful, exciting, ordinary things…

Peace, everyone!