Thursday, December 8, 2011

Hard Fortune

Please, can I have for Christmas?
Advancement will come with hard work.

Promise? Really, can you promise me that? Cause, I have been working 60, 70 hours…sometimes more…and I seem to be spinning my wheels. 

It seems like the harder I work, the more I do, the further behind I fall. How is that possible?
I have two jobs right now – one I really enjoy and the other, I have been doing so long…I don’t know what else to do. The stress of both jobs together seem to be part of the fiber of my being, as does the constant clutter on the flat surfaces of my home. I really am an organized person trapped inside a hamster wheel of never ending tasks. 

The loves of my life…my family, my friends, my home, my writing – that is where I fall behind. The time that I spend with my family is precious. The time I spend with my friends I cherish. The hours I spend in my home – I crave! The moments I get to write, I long for. (Let’s not even mention crocheting, reading and taking some classes.)

I have friends that I consider family, God has blessed me with them. I have no blood sisters, but I have women in my life that I am honored to call my sisters. (We need a GIRL’S NIGHT!) When their hearts hurt, I hurt; when they have joy, I am happy. All of us are so busy with “hard work” and we struggle to find the time to dedicate to this amazing gift we have been given! 

I miss my family with a passion so great it hurts. I want to be there for my grandpa, or at least be able to call him on a regular basis! This amazing man that has survived so much – I look up to him and I am so proud of him! My aunts, uncles, cousins – too much time has passed since I have been able to be with you. My parents, my brother and his family – we used to have dinner almost every weekend. Recently we had a family game night with my brother and his family and I was struck by how much I MISS them! My Mom and Dad, they are a source of strength and inspiration to me. I appreciate their support and love and I hope they know how much I treasure them. (Lord knows, I have been remiss in telling and showing them!)

My husband – I consider us still newlyweds. We’ve been married 5 years and heaven only knows why this precious man puts up with me! He has a wonderful sense of humor, loyal heart and incredible mind, I am so blessed that he loves me! He is my rock and without him, without his love and support I would be lost. 

My own kiddos, I am sorry I cannot even begin to describe how much I miss spending time with them. My oldest, in college – I miss him, he is not terribly far, but it feels like a lifetime away. His caring heart, warm personality and infectious smile…I would prefer to have on a daily basis. My middle son, in high school – what a strong, funny and incredible young man. He is intuitive, random and makes me laugh and think all at the same time. His future is so bright! My little guy – what a trip every day. I have been raising these two older boys, ran a home daycare for 10 years and I have never run across a little boy like him. I can’t wait (oh, wait – YES I can) to see the man he will become. Each of my kiddos, each of their beating hearts and working minds are such a blessing to me and I would/will move heaven and earth to experience each moment I can with them. 

I have truly digressed – 

Advancement will come with hard work. 

I am not afraid of hard work. What I am afraid of is losing precious moments with the people I love. 

Advancement is something I need to be able to support my family, to be able to help them realize their dreams. I will work hard to make sure that I am able to lift them up in any way I can.
To all my online friends that read and follow me…thank you for your patience with me. I know that I am not very consistent with my posts. I do follow back and I do read as much as I can. Thank you! 

Plugging Away here ~
Vanilla Mama

BTW – Seriously, I NEED to start playing some of these numbers…maybe my hard work would be a thing of the past. 24, 33, 37, 41, 42, 44.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Interfering Fortune

Interfering Fortune 

“Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.”

I cannot run a marathon. I cannot lift weights. I cannot manage to sit and work on my book every day. I cannot get my butt in skinny jeans or ever in my life be a size 2. I cannot get to sleep without my mind racing 2 million miles an hour. I cannot do electrical work, plumbing and honestly I suck at gardening. I cannot keep fish alive, stay organized or simplify my life. 

I cannot fly.

“Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.”

Wow - that is quite a list. My list could honestly go one – and some of these things do interfere with what I can do. 

Really, I have no desire to run a marathon. Seems like a lot of beating up on my poor body. I would love to be able to run – But, I can walk. I love to walk. I do it every day (weather and sick kiddos permitting!).
I cannot lift weights or be a body builder, but honestly all I really need to pick up is my own butt and my kiddo. Speaking of butts – skinny jeans are just wrong, unless you are a twig or a size two. Neither of which is healthy for someone like me. I do not even think my skeleton would fit in a size two skinny jean. I CAN be the healthiest possible. I can eat real food, whole foods and walk – I am cave woman…hear my nom-nom on my homemade jerky!

With a healthy fear of blowing myself up and flooding my house, I know I can call my dad. (Yes, my husband can be handy – but my Dad is a Handy Man’s Handy Man!) He is amazing – perhaps I should pay closer attention when he helps me out, take notes…video…Even though he and my Mom live fairly close, we don’t get to see each other as much as I would like.

With my Black Thumb (which, by the way – my Dad has a Green Thumb!), I am hesitant to go all in and plant a garden, but I CAN keep my ivy alive and try again in the spring. I have a vision in my head of how I would love for it to look, what I would love to grow. I have day dreams of feeding my family with home grown tomatoes, peppers, etc…I’ll try again!

I am the official “Fish Killer” in my family, the fish at the store jump from their tank as soon as walk in…fishicide is less painful than the thought of coming home with me. It’s like they know…kinda creepy! So, since I cannot keep them alive, I CAN refrain from buying more. I think they are too beautiful to bring home to die…and I DON’T do it on purpose.

“Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.”

Staying organized is a constant battle, I CAN keep trying and that will help simplify my life. I need to simply – then maybe I could write on my book everyday, maybe I could post my fortunes more often. 

Flying…seriously, that’s what PLANES are for!

My racing brain at night is probably the biggest thing that interferes with what I can do. My walking helps, writing help. But, getting my life simple and organized would probably help the most. 

“Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.”

I am sorry that my posts are so far between. I am sorry that I have a hard time keeping up with some of the wonderful people I have meet through blogging. I cannot promise to get better – but I won’t let that interfere with TRYING!

Live, Laugh, Love ~
Vanilla Mama

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Healing Fortune

“Time heals all wounds. Keep your chin up.”

I have heard so many variations of this through the years. We all have. It is what everyone says when something goes wrong. Through my years on this earth, I have lost grandparents, a marriage and a child. Yes, time helps…it can help. It can turn the open wound into a scab…it can turn the scab into a scar. Time.

Time can truly heal many wounds. It can heal a broken heart, if you let it. It can take your sorrow, pain and devastation and morph it into a new life with promise and hope, if you let it.  

If you let it.

I am not going to even pretend that I don’t think about my losses. They have made me who I am today, they have molded me. I know not to take a single moment for granted – but there are days when I feel totally overwhelmed. 

Days when I open my heart and look at the scars. Days when I look for the dried crusty edges of the scabs and pick at them. Days when I blame myself for the losses. There are those Days.

I would be lying if I denied it. 

“Time heals all wounds. Keep your chin up.”

These are the major wounds of my heart and I try to let time heal them. God brought me to them…He will bring me through them. Even if takes my entire life – time will heal me. 

There are other wounds, wounds that I have inflicted on myself. As if there is not enough pain in everyday life, as if I have not lost enough…I lash out at myself, inflicting wounds.  Small wounds, that over the course of time, because they are so constant and self inflicted, fail to ever scab over and heal right. 

Blaming myself for the loss of my child, my marriage – those are major self inflicted wounds on top of the actual loss. 

But, what about the little everyday things we say to ourselves? I’m not good enough. I’m not pretty enough. I’m not smart enough. I screw up everything I touch.  What kind of effect does this have on us?

It has us running to the pharmacy to fill our anti-depressants!! It has us drinking glass after glass of wine! It has us trying to numb ourselves…because time, precious time, has a very hard time healing wounds that we inflict on ourselves every day. It chips away at our soul. It sets us up for many more heart breaks, because…We let it.

“Time heals all wounds. Keep your chin up.”

How do we, you and I, get through this? How do we heal our hearts? We have to allow the healing. We have to forgive ourselves.

It is a step by step process…everyday.

Everyday, there is the choice to accept the hardship and losses that we face and allow it to become part of our backbone. Everyday…and I do mean everyday…we must forgive ourselves and stop beating ourselves up for our imagined or real shortcomings. 

Our children, our spouses, our family and our friends (yes, even our employers) deserve us at our best.  Self flagellation has no part in our everyday life. 

Time, God, Love…will heal our hearts. If we allow it. 

What happens if we do not allow it? 

Live, Laugh, Love ~
Vanilla Mama

PS – I know this is a serious post, and I have struggled with it. For those of you who know me, you know many of the inner demons that I have struggled with and continue to struggle with.  I will never make light of someone’s loss or pain. My daughter died before she was born. She was stillborn at 27 weeks. It was not just the death of a child, but the death of a dream. There are times when I blame myself for her death – even now, 17 years later. I know that when my life is done and I can finally see the face of God, I will be able to embrace her and know the plan. If you have experienced a loss, or if you are inflicting your own wounds – I am here. And you are so much MORE – You are MORE!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Richest Fortune

“The secret of vast riches begins with a single penny.”

Seems slightly overstated, but then again aren’t all classic Fortune Cookie Fortunes? 
I have a secret inner coupon diva that is dying to climb out and start getting groceries for free, but for the life of me I can’t seem to wrap my head around it. Have you seen this new show, “Extreme Couponing”? I have 5 episodes on my DVR just waiting for me to watch…why haven’t I? I want to take NOTES!!! Not only that, but after I watch it I know that I will never really want to grocery shop again until I undertake the couponing…and honestly, my family would GO HUNGRY!

How on earth can a reasonable human being save money? One penny at a time?

“The secret of vast riches begins with a single penny.”

Saving money is a difficult thing for me, typically I am pressed for time and don’t have time to organize a huge binder full of coupons that are cross-indexed by brand and stores. Realistically how can I save money – I have a loyalty card at the stores I shop at, I use coupons from the Sunday paper only for the items our family uses, if we go out to eat it is a place I have a coupon for. Am I the thriftiest person ever? Of course not, I waste a lot of money on things I don’t really need, or end up not using because I got it for a great price! 

Example, in my closet I have 10, yes 10 photo boxes that I bought for $1 each. GREAT DEAL – they were on SALE!! Guess what, they are in MY CLOSET STILL wrapped in PLASTIC NEVER USED! Great deal on sale, NEVER used, in my closet taking up space that I could use for other things! Another example…I found extremely CUTE shadow boxes on SALE 75% off, where are these shadow boxes now? In yet another closet still with their tags on, never used. I think I need to dust off my Ebay account and get busy!

“The secret of vast riches begins with a single penny.”

The best way that I have learned to save money is to resist the impulse to buy things on sale.  Especially things that are project related…photo boxes, shadow boxes, fabric for covering a table, YARN to crochet with that is, in yes, another CLOSET! 

It is a truth that I have learned about myself and I try to embrace…if I undertake the Extreme Couponing show and take notes, I will share with you the details, but you are probably way ahead of me and can share your tips with me! 

If you have a dirty little secret where you waste money and feel guilty, share it here. Let’s get it out and own it, then we can take control of it. Are you a Starbucks fiend (my hand raises), do you buy things in bulk that end up not being used, do you have a collection that you love and spend money on it? Where does your money go? My confession here is light hearted and a little silly, but it is nonetheless true – I have to be honest with myself and where my money really goes before I can take it buy the horns and wrestle it.  Start saving those pennies to build up vast riches!

Thanks for letting me guest post on your wonderful blog, I hope you enjoyed! (Yes, wow, I was asked to guest post at Makobi Scribe - check it out here!)
Live, Laugh, Love~
Vanilla Mama

Ooops…almost left off the lucky numbers, because wouldn’t it be sweetness to win the lottery and not have to worry about money anymore?
19, 23, 27, 29, 35, 38

(One disclaimer I will make, I do not play the lottery on a regular basis, in fact probably only once a year, I do happen to really believe that it is a waste of my money – but if you play and you win from these numbers, please remember your Vanilla Mama!)