Sunday, March 29, 2009

Crazy Weekend

I have been so busy there has been no time to post - but so many things have been going on! Most importantly Nicole had her 14th birthday!

The birthday hat and bear are a grandparent tradition. Today we had the grandparents and Marc and his kids over to celebrate with us. We missed Michelle who is partying in Denver. Eva, Marc's youngest was playing with some magnets that go with a game we have. I could not stop laughing! She kept saying to the magnets "What the? What are you silly guys doing?"

On Saturday Nicole sang in the General Young Women's meeting at the Conference center. It was so great to see her up there and think of the millions of girls all around the world watching. They gave the girls some great advice. They want each girl to pray morning and night, read their scriptures 5 minutes a day, and smile! They also focused on standing up for virtue and purity - and to be a friend to all. President Monson told the girls to have the courage to refrain from judging others - be free from criticizing and finding fault. If you judge people you have no time to love them. He asked them to have courage to be chaste and virtuous - and reminded the girls that the commandments are not negotiable. And finally to have the courage to stand firm for truth and righteousness. It was such a great evening! Especially since Christy and I were able to bring our younger daughters to the meeting.

Friday was a fabulous day. Part of Nicole's present was a morning at the spa. She had a facial and her hair and make-up done. Then Kristen, Nicole and I went shopping followed by dinner with Bob at Red Robin.

I love how fun my girls are to be with - it was a wonderful relaxing day!

One Little Gym story...I was at the front desk while a 3 year old class was going on. Through the window I could see two boys having a hard time taking turns. Suddenly one of the boys (Lee) bursts out of the door and stomps into the lobby - here is the conversation that ensued:

Me: Lee are you having a hard time?

Lee: Yes I am having a hard time! (crying)

Me: Are you and Trevor having trouble taking turns?

Lee: Yes, yes I am having trouble.

Me: Do you need a hug?

Lee: Yes I do need a hug!

We hug - I move to let go...

Lee: I am not done hugging yet.

Me: Oh - okay.

We hug more.

Me: Lee sometimes it is okay if you just need a break - do you need a break?

Lee: Yes, yes I do need a break!

Me: Why don't we go in and sit by the wall, and when you are ready to play again you can.

We go in and sit down, Lee climbs into my lap. After a couple of minutes he says...

Lee: I think I am ready now. I am done breaking.

Monday, March 23, 2009

A very busy weekend!

This has been a crazy weekend and monday! At work we have a new loyalty program coming out and it has been very time consuming - so let me focus on a few bright spots of the weekend. Nicole is singing in the General Young Women's Conference for our church. The families were able to go to the dress rehearsal on Saturday. The music was gorgeous, the girls looked beautiful and the conductor was incredible. One of the best parts was being able to sit in the front row of the conference center! (When will that ever happen?)

Here is our view from the front row - the pipes of the organ are so beautiful! Only 4 of them are for show.

I haven't had time to edit the photos - so excuse the red-eye - but there is Nicole singing her heart out! (She is the cute one)

Cute Kristen - supporting her sister!

The view from the stand - my little flash couldn't exactly light up the whole place - but it seats between 15K-20K!

The Parent Paparazzi!

Afterward my Mom and Marc and I went to lunch and a play. We went to a restaurant called The Counter. I think one of the burgers could serve a small African nation.

This is Marc's creation - bleu cheese, carmelized onions, baby greens and roasted peppers - now if only you could get all of those flavors in one bite!

But one frustration has come up. My camera battery died while taking pictures of Nicole's rehearsal - my Mom was kind enough to loan me hers (Thanks, Mom!) So tonight I downloaded the photos I took so I could return her camera, and discovered that she hasn't cleared her card since Halloween. So I had the awkward experience of seeing all kinds of pictures of myself. I have decided that I have body dysmorphia - but not in the sense that I see myself as fat when I am thin, but rather I assume I don't look as bad as I really do - it is always quite shocking to see the mountain that is me. I am trying to think of it as motivating (trying really hard to not let the depression stifle my motivation) and more reason to keep exercising. Now I just have to work on the diet part! Sometimes it becomes discouraging because there is SOOO much to lose! Maybe I shouldn't have shown the hamburger picture in this post...

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

I don't want to be in charge today!

Sometimes I hate being the boss. I have a very cute employee who has been with me for 4 1/2 years - longer than any other employee. Well, she didn't show up for work today. This is the 5th time in the past year that this has happened. She has been having panic attacks - which I know first hand to be terrifying. So the first time I let it go - told her how concerned I was and encouraged her to talk to someone, or go see her Dr. The second one - still concerned - PLEASE go see the Dr. - get some help- I understand, etc. The third one - this is really getting to be a problem - I am so sorry you are going through this - but I need you to be here for your shift - and in the very least let us know when and why you aren't showing up. Fourth time - I am so sorry to do this but I have to put you on probation. I really hope you see someone and get the help you need - it's not fair to the rest of the staff or me when you don't show up - or even let us know where you are. Yesterday we chat - she says she is taking Zoloft - feeling good. So today she doesn't show up to work. Another employee mentions that she saw her at a bar last night. (I thought you weren't supposed to mix alcohol with anti depressants?) I get a text saying she is having an anxiety attack. Then the boyfriend calls - he took her to the E.R. - please don't fire her. She loves her job - she is getting help - they just need to find the right medicine, etc. So now I don't know what to do. On one hand she signed the agreement that she would not miss work for the next 90 days unless ill - in which case she needs to find a sub for classes and call and let me know ahead of time why she won't be to work. In order to show respect for the other staff that has to cover for her - and because she signed the agreement and still didn't show up with no word until she was over an hour late - it seems I should fire her. But I really care about her - when is enough enough?

Monday, March 16, 2009

Weekends are too short!

I look forward to the weekends and always have this overly ambitious list of things I am going to accomplish - and usually accomplish about 3 things. Nicole and I went down to my brother's house on Saturday with my parents to celebrate Michelle's (my sis-in-law) birthday. Michelle happens to be one of my favorite people in the world and I was glad to have an excuse to leave the housecleaning. After driving back to Salt Lake I ran to the grocery store with no list. I know that doesn't seem like a big deal, but every week for the past 17+ years I have always planned my meals before I go to the store. You would have thought that I had never been to the store in my whole life. I was completely at a loss. I couldn't figure out what to buy and kept wandering from one end of the store to the other until, due to fatigue, Nicole and I checked out. I ended up with vegetables, diet coke and a case (yes, a case) of tuna. That didn't leave us with a lot of options for Sunday dining - but Kristen, my assistant chef, helped me actually find something we could cook with our pitiful grocery offerings. (And fortunately the tuna was not involved.) We had a great time making these vegetable "nests" with an egg baked in the middle. The meal even had the illusion of being healthy - and I love that Kristen is so fun to cook with...

Sunday is one of my favorite days because there are no errands to run - and the whole family can hang out together - AND it is called the day of REST!! You are supposed to rest - says so in the Bible! I think there should also be Wednesday, the day of playing.. just a thought. Anyway, as part of my plan for 2009 - I have been taking more time to do things I enjoy, such as sewing and needlework. I finally finished a punch needle project for Valentine's Day - yes, Valentine's Day - but look how far ahead I am for 2010!

I also started on a bag for Kristen. It's not quite finished - I still need to sew the straps - but as I was looking at it I asked Kristen if the fabric was too busy. She said, "No, it's perfect. It matches who I am - a wild girl!" So I guess I had better finish it next weekend.

Friday, March 13, 2009

I love kids!

Although I always hoped to be a stay-at-home Mom, here are just a few of the reasons I am lucky to work with kids every day (even at church):

  • 2 year old Max "Miss Michelle - I named my stuffed cat after you."
  • 4 year old neice Dana gently places a hand on each of my cheeks and while gazing into my eyes says, "Your head is huge." (It was a tender moment.)
  • Ellie, 5 year old at church, after I complimented the children on how well they sing she stood up, stretched out her arms and shouts "I was born to sing!"
  • 4 year old Alec says to other 4 year old girl "I can't have a girlfriend! I am only 4 years old! I am only in preschool!"
  • 4 year old at church "My Mom accidentally got candies full of alcohol - she still ate them all."
  • 3 year old Rosie "Watch out Miss Michelle, I am a handful today." (I appreciated the warning.)
  • 3 year old to one of my employees, "Hey, I know what your name is. Your name is Miss PMS!" (We couldn't stop laughing after that one!)
  • 4 year old Bailee from my advanced PreK gymnastics class, when asked to do a new skill on the bars, wagged her finger at me and said, "Honey, you did not ask me to swing on the bar!" Me: "Oh, yes I did." Bailee: "Oh no you didn't" (all with a little Twang to it; my favorite part was her calling me honey.)
  • 5 year old Chase to an employee, "Miss Shannon, you look hot today - want to go hot tubbing?"

There are many more comments like that, and I wish I have kept a better record. Many of the things kids tell me in all innocence are not appropriate to write about - but still very entertaining. I absolutely love the total honesty - with no ulterior motive - that you get from children. Of course I don't think I would find it funny if an adult told me my head was huge...

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Perceived Control

One of the keys to finally making some changes in my life was reading The Self-Esteem Trap by Polly Young-Eisendrath. I try to read several parenting/child development books throughout the year to assist me in my job. As I was perusing the parenting education section at Barnes & Noble I felt completely drawn to this book. It was tucked down on the bottom shelf - and it was a hard-cover (I didn't want to fork out the money for a hardcover) - so I kept looking at other books; particularly ones that didn't require me to kneel down on the floor (sad isn't it?) Needless to say I couldn't stop returning my gaze to this book, so I plopped down and read the first few pages. After purchasing the book I couldn't put it down. It may be marketed towards parents, but for me it was life changing. Towards the end of the book she discusses some keys to happiness. The following really captured my attention:

"...starting from the beginning of our lives, we love to make things
happen. Part of that pleasure is the perceived control - the sense
that you are in control, whether or not you are. Clinical depression
is a condition that is usually precipitated by, and always accompanied by,
the loss of perceived control. Our perceived control is a wellspring
of happiness..."

Since I do bear the label of "depression" this piqued my interest. As I thought about it I realized that when my life began to take a direction I didn't want - instead of fighting to stay in control I let myself be tugged off course - And thus my love affair with Lexapro began... But seriously, do you find truth in this statement? I love that happiness can be the result of "perceived control" not actual control since I do believe that God has a hand in how are lives are shaped - The key is in realizing that we have to take responsibility for our choices. Even if I let myself be tugged off course - that was my choice. I promise that all my posts will not be this preachy - but I would love to hear any thoughts... (And yes I will post a photo soon!)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

My first post - hooray!

It has taken me a week to have the time to sit down and write my first post. At the end of 2008 I realized that I have been dealing with the same problems and frustrations with bad habits, emotional baggage, relationship issues, etc. for about 10 years and in some cases - more. I complain, moan and groan, and occasionally feel sorry for myself (okay - maybe more than occasionally) without doing anything differently. Isn't that the definition of crazy? Crazy (adj.)Doing the same thing over and over while expecting different results. So I have decided - it is time for a change!!

I started the year out by finding a great therapist - who is already helping me to make positive, albeit scary, changes in my life - and I am running a 5K in April (gotta start somewhere) - which hopefully will lead to more positive health changes. I am no fool - I know that I can't turn my entire life around over night, but by the end of the year I should be able to show a little progress.

So maybe I am being self-indulgent in creating this blog about this year's journey, but quite honestly I know myself well enough to know that putting my intentions out into the cyber universe where my friends and family can see what I am thinking will help me to follow-through more than if I do it all on my own. (Plus I am hoping I will be able to reconnect or stay better connected with those near and dear to my heart.)