Monday, April 27, 2009

A new skill

I recently put together this desk for Kristen - twice. Not until I got to the very end (literally the last step) did I discover that I put a piece in backwards. Yeesh! Of course in order to fix my error I had to take the desk completely apart and put it all back together - but it did go back together much quicker the second time. So now I feel like I should offer my services for putting together this one IKEA desk.

On Saturday night I went to the gym to clean the lobby carpet and loved watching Kristen and her friend Allie build this fort. They were so excited. It is nice that Kristen is still young enough to enjoy playing at the gym.

I also started to work on a stuffed dinosaur for my niece Eva - I forget how energizing a fun project can be - especially picking out the fabric!!

Mostly, I thoroughly enjoyed not having a crazy schedule this weekend. It seems like most Saturdays are packed!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The dumps are now closed.

I am in much better spirits this evening and thought I should end the day on a positive note. Today several of my former employees came to the gym with their kids. It was so great to see all of them - I have been very fortunate to work with amazing people over the past 7 years - and their children are all so fun and so cute!!

Also - kudos to Bob! He called me this morning before I went to work and I told him all about yesterdays' woes. He was a great listener, asked what he do to help, offered to make dinner and then said that he would be happy to paint the girls rooms. I was floored and touched - and I told him it would be great if he would be willing to paint the girls rooms.

Looking for the dumps? Follow the sound of my voice.

So, one of the many reasons I am not sure why I run a business is that I take things way too personally. I frequently make the mistake of thinking of my customers as my friends and therefore find it upsetting when they are not pleased with something. Yesterday this happened twice. One of the moms would not even look me in the eye - and usually we chat every time she is there. The problem is - I didn't do anything wrong - and if I had it to do over again I wouldn't change a thing - she just felt like she should be the exception to the rule.

Later, another mom (the one I mentioned Monday morning), talked to me for over a half an hour with her list of grievances, even though every other sentence she would say "Don't get the wrong idea - I love coming here." Clearly. The hard thing is sitting there saying how grateful I am that she feels comfortable coming and talking to me and that I appreciate the feedback. Technically I didn't give her exactly what she wanted - but she was happy at the end because she could vent. The problem is something like that leaves me feeling completely drained and depressed. I work really hard at a job I don't want in the first place - and as the boss, the few (and yes it is very few) upset customers are all mine.

So I raced home after that to take the girls to IKEA (they want to redo their rooms) and needless to say - it was not the good time I was expecting. So last night after I picked Nicole up from dance I ran away to the library. There is just something so peaceful about being surrounded by all of those pages. I sat with my feet up looking through some sewing magazines (which made me wish I had more time to sew) and followed that up by getting a hamburger and fries - old habits die hard. Then I got mad at myself for eating that. Am I a drama queen or what?! The whole thing got me all irritated with myself which led to me looking at blogs at 2 in the morning until about 4.

Now this morning I just feel out of sorts, which is greatly due to the lack of sleep, and I am having a hard time getting excited about going to work and being chipper for 6 hours. Thanks for going on this pity trip with me.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Family Home Evening

Tonight for Family Home Evening we played badminton in our front yard. Never before have you seen such athleticism. The sound of rackets swishing aimlessly through the air, shuttlecocks hitting cars, flowers and Nicole (right between the eyes - don't worry she had on sunglasses.) It was something. If someone was watching us they probably would be unable to stop laughing. The lack of any sort of hand-eye coordination was spectacular - and our rules became creative. We are now strong believers in volleyball rules for badminton; in other words, you can have 3 hits on the same side before the shuttlecock or Nicole goes over the net (it was a rough game for Nicole).

Quick thoughts on a Monday Morning...

Something must be in the air - I woke up before my alarm today - AND (gasp!) I woke up in a good mood. Not that I am a crabby person in the morning, usually I am just not super excited about getting out of bed - after that I am fine.

I am not terribly excited about going to work today - I know that I have a "high maintenance" customer to deal with today - but I am trying to stay positive about it. On my behalf, be extra understanding to whatever service people you encounter today.

My friend is doing the HCG diet and has lost 25 pounds in about a month - she looks great - tells me I have got to do it - best diet she's been on...but 500 calories a day...and there are shots?! Bob says to look into it now I am overanalyzing that comment...

Kristen told me that she feels like the Law & Order shows I watch bring a bad spirit into our home. (ouch!) Keep in mind I only watch when the kids aren't around....Do your children reprimand you?

Mainly I am just excited that I have 10 minutes to sit and blog this morning - and even though the weather is gorgeous today I have learned not to speed....I am off to work! Have a wonderful day!!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

A very entertaining story

So I get a lot of wonderful stories from the kids at work - but this one came from a Dad (I have changed the names just in case).

There is a Dad, Jeff who brings his 3 kids to the gym. He owns several properties and manages them himself - so he is pretty much the stay at home parent. One of his boys loves princesses, barbies and sparkly nail polish. The Dad has come to terms with this and is kind of hoping this is just a phase. (The boy is 4.) Well one of the houses he owns he rents to some of the Real Salt Lake players. As he was waiting for one of the players to come over and sign some papers Jeff started telling his kids how he used to play sports in college and was actually pretty good - but the man who was coming over was such a good athlete he was able to have that as his job. Shortly after that the Real player came over. While Jeff went to get the papers the soccer player asked the kids if they liked any sports. The older son and daughter immediately said "YES!" The 4 year old, Jacob, didn't answer so the Real player asked him if he liked sports too. Jacob said "I am not really into sports right now. What I am really into is my Easy Bake Oven." He said this just as Jeff returned. It cracked me up!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Week in Review - get comfy - it's a long post

Too busy! So a quick recap of an exciting week - with a few beneficial tips:

I received my first speeding ticket ever. It was a beautiful morning - I was feeling happy and enjoying the sun - I unrolled the windows and turned up the radio and saw the policeman wave me over to the side of the road. Here is the beneficial tip: Apparently traffic violations are no joking matter (as I was told) but he did bump it down to 5 miles over - instead of the 13 I was actually going...not to mention that I didn't have my insurance card and my tags had just expired.Wednesday I went to a "Spring Cleaning for The Inside" class with Denise Druce. (blurry picture above) It was a 2 hour class where she talked to us about spring cleaning our lives; we had a one hour group fitness class and we discussed nutrition. I have barely been able to walk since. But I must say Denise is one of the most amazing people I know - she has a very realistic approach to good health and has this amazing way of making you feel like you can accomplish your goals. (If you don't know Denise go to - if you are trying to improve your health do her breakthrough program, it's free.) She gave us a printout of ideas to get started on to Spring Clean our lives - there were 6 ideas - we had to pick one. This is mine

"Clean out anger, hatred, jealousy, and self doubt. If you need to
apologize, bit the bullet and do it. If you're still angry and waiting on
an apology from someone who won't or can't give you one, decide to let it
go. It's not contributing to your life - in fact it's contaminating it -
so is needs to go to the junk heap at the curb. Only then can you put
something positive in it's place. Make some room for happiness."

I learned that to pick the perfect pair of sunglasses they need to be slightly wider than the widest part of your face - these seemed about right. Thursday my girls both had a bunch of friends over - it never ceases to amaze how loud they can all be.

(Nicole and Cathy's daughter Sadie)

Saturday Nicole and I did the MS 5K on our fabulous friend Cathy's team. We were thrilled that the rain held off until the walk was over - I was thrilled that I regained my ability to move my legs. (see Wednesday) The crowd was HUGE - it was great to see such a good turnout on a cold, stormy day. The picture doesn't do it justice - there were hundreds of people - maybe more than a thousand.

Right after that Michelle, her kids and my parents came over for an Easter egg hunt and for lunch. I was worried that we were going to have an indoor hunt - but once again the weather held off. The bizarre thing was later when the kids were jumping on the trampoline in the back, Michelle and I saw it pouring in the front - the cloud break was right over the house - no rain in back - but pouring in the front.

Yea! Spring is coming - I just hope the snow on Wednesday won't smash my daffodils!

And today - Easter Sunday - my girls looked rather smashing in their Easter finery...

It is my month to lead the music in primary. I thought a good "wiggle song" would be the following:

Sung to the tune of "Battle Hymn of the Republic" there are hand motions - but that's unimportant for the story.

Little Peter Rabbit had a fly upon his ear, little Peter Rabbit had a fly upon his ear, Little Peter Rabbit had a fly upon his ear so he flicked it and it flew away.

Me: Now what body part should we pick - where should the fly go?

Child 1: The fly should go to the store!

Me: Okay - but how about a body part - like maybe your mouth?

Child 2: I don't want a fly on my mouth, they have germs, they make you sick.

Me: Well we could pretend it's something else flying around...

Child 2: Like a dragon?

Me: How about a butterfly?

Child 3: I like fairies!

Me: Fairies are cool - okay let's sing our mouth this time.

I start singing..

Child 2: She put a fly on her mouth...gross.

So that didn't go so well. But I did like when someone showed a painting of The Last Supper one of the 3 year olds said "I know what that is. It's The Last Dinner!"

My parents came over for Easter dinner

And I had the first time since the beginning of the week to sit down and post to my blog! I hope you had a wonderful Easter - and to all of you lurkers - let's see some comments!!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Sushi anyone?

So we went out to sushi Monday night. Kristen has been very anxious to try it - ever since I discovered that it is not at all disgusting - in fact quite yummy. Things were going well - the girls almost enjoyed the tempura veggies and Kristen only thought she was going to throw up once. Yea!! Family adventures!! Poor Nicole - she had no desire to try it in the first place, but was a very good sport about it - even though she didn't like it. Kristen didn't mind the Las Vegas roll, but the California roll was apparently gag inducing. I was briefly concerned she was going to throw up and I feel very sorry for the bus boy who will discover a special treat in Kristen's cloth napkin.

Pre-Gag happiness

When Nicole still thought it would be okay.

Sunday was a much better food day. We made cinnamon rolls in the morning (not good to have around when trying to watch what you eat) and we had a very yummy dinner, including Nicole's famous spinach salad.

Summer Strawberry Spinach Salad


6 c fresh baby spinach, washed and dried
1 1/2 c. fresh strawberries, thinly sliced
1/2 c. red onion, thinly sliced
3/4 c. swiss cheese, grated
1 c. candied pecans (see below)

Candied Pecans

1 - 1 1/4 c pecan halves
3 T light corn syrup
1 1/2 T sugar
1/2 t. salt

Preheat oven to 325. In a medium bowl, combine corn syrup, sugar and salt - add pecans and toss well to coat evenly. Place pecans in a single layer on a baking sheet that has been coated with cooking spray. (I prefer to use parchment paper.) Bake for 12-15 min, or until golden brown. Immediately scoop nuts onto a sheet of foil to cool thoroughly.
Poppy Seed Salad Dressing
1 pkg. Good Seasons Italian dressing
2T sugar
1T poppy seeds
3T water
1/4 c. apple cider vinegar
1/4 c. canola or vegetable oil
Whisk together all dressing ingredients in a small bowl, adding the oil last. It's best to first toss the spinach with the dressing, then add the strawberries, pecans and onions and toss again. Add cheese at the very end.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Sunday Thoughts...

I can't believe it is already Sunday evening! Our church held its bi-annual General Conference where we had the opportunity to listen to the apostles and the Prophet. What a fabulous conference. It's great to be able to work with the primary children - but it is so nice to get the spiritual lift from conference. The whole choice thing kept coming up during conference - sometimes we suffer because of OUR someone trying to tell me something? I just love the rejuvenating feeling I get from listening to all of the speakers - it helps keep my life on track.

On Thursday I had book group at my house - no one was able to get a copy of the book so we just enjoyed each others company. It is so nice to be able to get together with friends at least once a month. As a social person I hate being so busy as to not be able to get together with friends. Plus it's good for my vocabulary - sometimes I feel like talking to 1 and 2 year olds most days is effecting my ability to carry on a conversation with adults.

One requested update per a previous post: The employee who no showed to work - I was planning on firing her but was bombarded by all of my employees begging me not to fire her. So I gave her one more chance and told her that she had that chance because of her co-workers. She has been getting help and I truly help that she will stick with the medication! Besides the fact that I would hate to lose her!

An update on the "improving my health" front. I have been cutting way back on what I am eating. Going to therapy has been extremely helpful - although I haven't even brought up food issues with him yet. He mentioned at our last session that addictive behaviors are there as a way to cope with pain. When you work through the pain you begin to lose the desire or need of that behavior. The weird issue is sometimes where I would have eaten I now don't know what to do with myself - so still working on changing my habits. This week I have been following the Slim-Fast plan - mainly because I had a can of it in my pantry - so not a lot of thought was put into it. It certainly has you noshing all day - which is sometimes tricky with my work schedule - plus some of those meal and snack bars require an absurd amount of chewing - to the point that your jaw gets sore - what is that all about? A friend suggested that if I stopped drinking diet coke it would help with the weight loss......I don't know if we can be friends anymore...KIDDING! I know it would be good for me - but I am just not there quite yet.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

It's your choice, why aren't you choosing well?

The title comes from an email subject line I received today. My business email account is flush with spam on a daily basis. I try to go through every day and delete all the spam - but I can never keep up - my email account feels as messy as my house - is that weird? So as I was pressing delete I saw this line (see title) flash up and it got me thinking - why is it so hard to choose well? My sister and I joked on the phone one night about how we needed a song that went along the lines of "How dare you offer me help!" People are willing to give help - but offer to help them and it can be like an insult. I am always impressed with people who receive help graciously.

Tuesday and Wednesday night I spent hours and hours trying to get my laptop to pick up our home wi-fi connection and was about ready to lose it! Finally I called Dell and within a half an hour everything was running smoothly. I always knew that calling was an option, it didn't cost me any money, but I kept saying to myself - I'll try one more thing... I was so thrilled watching as the tech support person (via the web) got everything perfect on my computer - just like magic!

My therapist is always reminding me that certain things in my life are the way they are because that is what I chose. He probably tells me that about 4 or 5 times in a session - so I am still waiting on the big answer of why we don't choose well - and why we make things hard on ourselves. I remember Saturday mornings when I was growing up, my brother would get his chores done right away - while I managed to s t r e t c h them out as long as possible - all the while frustrated that my day was slipping now I am trying to make better choices - or at least be accountable for the ones that I make...

One quick reality check - I won't be running my 5K on April 18th - but I am still planning on running one this spring - there are many to choose from. I had a sinus infection a few weeks ago, stopped working out and am now basically starting over from scratch - but that was my choice! I also choose to still run a 5K - so I am back at it! Are you choosing well for yourself?