Friday, June 19, 2009

Summer’s Little Pleasures

As you may have noticed, I have been un-inspired lately. When I sit down at my computer I don't feel like I have much to share with the world. As much as that surprises me (who knew this "talker" would ever run out of things to say), it also doesn't surprise me because many blogging books/writers talk about those dry times.

So...remember when I wrote this post about the blogging ideas book? This morning while I ate my bowl of cereal, I pulled out the notebook in which I had jotted blogging ideas while reading No One Cares What You Had for Lunch. Thank Goodness, 'cause now I get to share one of my ideas and you get to see my cute...


Last night one of my girlfriends took me out for dinner and a pedicure...a belated birthday gift!

A couple of years ago she introduced me to pedicures and we now go a couple of times during the summer months and enjoy the pure luxury of being pampered. I would have never done this myself without her prompting, but now every once in a while I take my daughter or sister-in-law and share the experience with the girls in my family.

My first pedicure of the season is always a french pedicure - clear polish with white tips. It's just my favorite! I look at my toes a couple times a day and I just smile...they make me so happy. Crazy? Maybe. Joy? Absolutely!

Now, I'm sorry you're being subjected to my feet...try not to notice the psycho-blue veins, separated toes, or shaved toe parts (yes, I have hairy toes that I shave...I should try waxing, but that sounds painful), but I wanted to share the pedicure with you! If you were here in person, I would be subjecting you to the be thankful! :)

If you live near me and ever need a pedi-partner (you know who you are!) just give me a call. I've got a great little place right next to a coffee shop...good planning, those stores!

If you want to see a crazy idea, click here. You up for that kind of pedicure? Can't imagine what that would cost!

Have a great weekend, everybody!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Balance in Life

Since we got back from our trip to IL I have been flying through my days. I've had club meetings, work trainings, house guests, schooling and A LOT of other things to do. Although some activities end for the summer, it still seems like I'm busier than ever. Does that happen to you?

I'm realizing that I will have to be purposeful about fitting in some of those leisurely summer activities...lingering over a BBQ, sitting around the pool, outdoor activities in the evenings, playing games, gardening, etc. I'm very task-oriented and usually have a longer to-do list than can ever be accomplished. I recall asking myself yesterday while scrubbing down a bathroom if I was trying to be "superwoman." Just trying to sort my priorities...a never-ending dilemma for me.

Any suggestions on how you enjoy those long summer evenings or how to be purposeful in setting aside the to-do list and take care of your relationships instead?

I recently wrote down my my "job description" and marvelled at how much I actually do accomplish. Here's a peek:

COO Responsibilities – Martens’ Household

Laundry (bedding)
twice a year – exchanging

Planning (coupons)

Bldg Maintenance:
Cleaning (day, mo, wk, qtr, yr)
Plant care/Landscape

Toiletries/Household goods

Maintenance/Repair (Mark covers this!)

Letters (pen pals)
Email/Electronic Comm.

Bill Pay
Chore Pay
Record Keeping



MBC – Job & library
AHG – Registration & T. leader

Time spent with them

Physical – teeth/baths, Dr. appts
Spiritual – Bible Study, verses, bios
Emotional – love, communication
Intellectual – projects, activities

Spiritual – Bible Study, prayer, verses
Physical – beauty, exercise, food, water, vitamins
Emotional – time alone, creative projects
Intellectual – reading & work

Is there any wonder I'm running through my days? :) I don't do most of it well. It seems like I make progress in one area and another one falls apart. I am learning that small time investments all around (instead of carving out 4 hours to accomplish a big task) is the best way to maintain some semblance of balance.

I also try to be "in the moment." For example, my girls had a birthday party to attend last weekend at a pool. I had so much to get done that day, but I left my phone and watch in the car and just enjoyed watching them swim and play with the other children. I enjoyed chatting with the other moms and was one of the last to leave. It was relaxing, refreshing and fun! Two and a half hours later I was ready to hit the to-do list again.

Maybe as women and mothers we're always trying to improve our caring and our productivity. I know it will never be perfect and I'm sure that my house will be cleaner when my kids are gone, but for right now I don't want to miss out on life and making memories.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Sunday Scriptures

Psalm 138 (emphasis mine)

A Psalm of David.

1 I will praise You with my whole heart;
Before the gods I will sing praises to You.

2 I will worship toward Your holy temple,
And praise Your name For Your lovingkindness and Your truth;
For You have magnified Your word above all Your name.

3 In the day when I cried out, You answered me,
And made me bold with strength in my soul.

4 All the kings of the earth shall praise You, O LORD,
When they hear the words of Your mouth.

5 Yes, they shall sing of the ways of the LORD,
For great is the glory of the LORD.

6 Though the LORD is on high,
Yet He regards the lowly;
But the proud He knows from afar.

7 Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You will revive me;
You will stretch out Your hand Against the wrath of my enemies,
And Your right hand will save me.

8 The LORD will perfect that which concerns me;
Your mercy, O LORD, endures forever;
Do not forsake the works of Your hands.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

One More Time

Yep, our poor mini-van has been in another accident! Ashley was taking a deposit to the bank last night when a middle-aged Spanish speaking man hit her driver's side front panel, breaking off the left mirror and making it so the driver's side door won't open. She was fine, thank goodness, but shaken up, as you can imagine. I'm glad it was close to home and Mark was able to run to the scene within minutes.

After getting the car back home I took the boys (in the Volvo) to Potomac, Maryland so they could hike 20 miles overnight into Rosslyn (just outside DC). Overnight...20 miles...CRAZY!! Of course, they are in bed now. I'm sure for the rest of the day. They are going to be hurting, too. Rhett doesn't like Gatorade so he decided to take two AMP's (energy drinks - mostly sugar & caffeine) with him instead. Every four or five miles they would meet up with a car that was carrying their stuff and eat some food/drink beverages. Rhett neglected the amount of water he should have drank and instead had the AMP's within a couple of hours of each other. He described the effects as vibrating his eyes. He didn't stop talking the whole night. Don't you already feel sorry for the other scouts? He was juiced! (I've always wanted to say that - hope it doesn't have a bad connotation?!)

Today my little girls have a friend's birthday party to attend at an area pool. So, yes, I've been wondering if I have to actually have a swimsuit on in case of possible drowning. I'm thinking if they decide to drown, then they'll have to be rescued by a mother fully clothed. I'm just not quite ready to be that exposed; it's so much easier when it's a bunch of strangers at the pool.

Off to conquer the day! Have a good weekend, everyone!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

A Whirlwind Trip

Update: found the camera!

our family with Grandma

my semi-friend's gift

I missed you all, but I also have to admit I loved getting away from being "plugged in" too. I loved it so much, I'm thinking about taking one day a week and not checking email, Facebook, phone messages, text messages, etc. Maybe I'll break out the board games and not put on the tv too! How radical! Ha!

We had a good trip back to the Midwest. The 4 days of driving were long, but filled with laughter, singing and good conversation. Grandma's house was filled with family from FL, VA and CA and my uncle even had two friends from Australia join in all the festivities. It was a whirlwind trip, but one of the best we've ever experienced there.

Grandma turned 80 on Sunday, a feat that none of her siblings have made it to yet. She has already lost several brothers and a sister and never thought she'd see her 80th birthday so it was a joyous time of celebration with her. I'm hoping we can make the trip next year for her 81st! That would be awesome!

I stumbled across a cemetery that was reminiscent of the one my grandfather was buried in when I was 13 years old. My mother said I had remembered it correctly so I called the cemetery office and got a map to find my grandparent's grave sites. On Saturday my kids and I drove out and found not only my grandparent's graves, but also some cousins and 2 sets of great uncles and aunts. I'm so thankful I got to share this with my kids.

On Saturday night we spent the evening with extended family on my father's side where several cousins in the group were between the ages of 26-16. We had so much fun laughing that night! Thank goodness, for Facebook - now we can all keep in touch a little better, hopefully! My kid's met their great-uncle and aunt for the first time and got to put faces to all those birthday and Christmas cards they receive. We also learned about Great-Aunt Ruth's dark side and her disdain for sparrows. If those poor little birds could only read the bluebird signage on the birdhouse they would increase their lifespans tenfold.

We did arrive safely in IL and back home on the return trip, but we did have one little incident. A semi-truck decided he didn't want me to merge in front of him and he rearranged my wheel-well over the back passenger tire. It's not pretty, but it was still driveable. IL law said I was at fault -you must be able to pass safely into another lane of traffic, but since the two cars in front of me where merging into their spots I wonder if my "semi-friend" wasn't trying to be intimidating. Either way...a lesson learned.

I hope you had a good end of May! Please, share if you had something fun & wonderful happen to you while I was gone! Talk to you soon... (I'll update with pictures when I find the camera.)