Thursday, February 28, 2013

March Quest: Read (some of) A Book Every Day

Let's face it, we live in a busy busy world and many of us find ourselves at a crazy pace that does not allow for much "down time".  When we do find some free time in our days, we feel guilty for doing something we want to do instead of something we need to do. 

But here's the not-so-Rosie truth:  there's always going to be things that need to be done.  Always.  You will never have a day when there isn't at least one thing on the To Do List.  As I debated over what I should make my Heart & Spirit Monthly Quest for March, I went back and forth about things I wanted to do and things I needed to do. 

In January, I chose two areas to focus on in my life.  I decided to Write Every Day and Exercise Every Day.  One of those was a want and the other was a need.  I accomplished both goals and felt very positive and productive at the end of January.

In February, I continued my Quest to Exercise Every Day and I added the lofty goal of Flossing Every Day (some of the most compelling blogging you will ever read, I'm sure).  Along with those two Quests, I decided to Share Love every day.  Once again, I feel positive and productive as I accomplished all three Quests this past month. 

Yes, three Quests in one month...two of which were needs and only one was a want. Truthfully even that one was a need as well...because, (come on!) everybody needs to share a little love, right?  Now here we are at the end of February, and I have to say, I have learned three Quests are a lot for one month, especially when you are blogging about them nearly every day. 

In March, I plan to continue exercising and flossing every day, but I don't really plan to blog about those things as they have become a daily part of my life.  I might mention them from time to time, but they are no longer "official" Quests.

For my March Heart & Spirit Monthly Quest, I am going to focus on something I want to do every day, but don't always give myself permission to do.  I'm going to Read (some of) A Book Every Day.

Truthfully, I go through "seasons of life" where I read one book after another, but then life gets busy and I'll "go for a spell" when I don't have the "time" to read a book.  Honestly, it's not really a "time" factor for me, as much as a "take the time" factor.

The whole month of March, I am going to give myself permission to take that time.  I'm guessing at the end of March you will not find me in great regret for the time I spent reading a book those 30 days.  (Yes, I do realize March has 31 days, but the 31st is Easter and I'll be taking that day off to celebrate the Resurrection of our Lord and Savior.)

For as long as I can remember I have loved reading books.  There I was, an elementary aged Rosie huddled under the covers in my lavender bedroom immersed in a good book illuminated by the dim light of small flashlight.  Soon I would either drift off to sleep or get busted by Mom, but until either one of those events happened, I was off on a journey with someone...or to somewhere...or both.

Fast forward to today and you might find me cuddled up in my Hug Chair with my Kindle.  Although Hubby's work schedule doesn't allow a lot of late night reading during this "season of life," I still read an assortment of fiction and nonfiction books. 

I love an adventurous story, hopefully with some love, maybe even a little mystery in it.  I find joy in books that challenge me or make me think.  I'm a sucker for stories of inspiration or overcoming adversity.  I am fascinated by the lives of real people in biographies.  I'm into books that really make me laugh out loud, or struggle to hold back the tears.  And every once in a while I'm up for something that's just fun or unique.

Hubby is also an avid reader.  We have modeled this for our boys and because we had the blessing of homeschooling them when they were young, we were able to spend a good deal of time and attention on cultivating their love of reading as well.  I'm so thankful we have been able to pass that down to both of them.

Our Scientist learned to read with a wonderful kindergarten teacher in a public school.  By the time our Engineer was ready to learn to read, we were homeschooling.  One of my greatest privileges as a homeschooling mother was the opportunity to teach our youngest how to read.  (Okay, except for that day he kept insisting that Tom's limp was a lump....ugh...so glad we can laugh about that now.)

One of the highlights of my teaching career was Story Time/Read Aloud Time.  For many years while I was teaching the boys at home, we chose a curriculum completely built around an amazing assortment of books.  At any given time, the boys not only had one or two books they would be reading for a subject, but we also had a time each day, where we walked away from the desk work and cuddled up on the couch in the living room while I read aloud to them from a book in their curriculum.  I LOVED that time with my boys and I believe it's a good memory for them as well.

When they went off to school for a few years, I was blessed with the opportunity to teach a homeschool support program at the two wonderful Christian schools they attended.  How fun it was to again be reading some of my favorite story books to my primary level students during Story Time.  On the days I taught the elementary aged classes, I shared with them my love of novels and "chapter books" when I read aloud to them each afternoon.

One of the things I miss most about teaching little ones is reading great books with them.  It's so much fun to share a book with children and watch their reactions as they are excited, surprised, delighted, tickled, or even saddened by the story.  My favorite part is the look on their faces as they relate to the story in some way.  That is such a magical moment that can easily spark "stories" of their own. 

And, please, don't even get me started on the amazing experience of watching a child learn to read!  Incredible!  Not only have I shared in that miracle with our boys, but several students in my classroom as well.  Those are just beautiful memories for me.

I am extremely delighted that my little foursome enjoys reading, and yet it saddens me that all four of us have found ourselves so busy these days, that we don't allow ourselves the time to get lost in the adventure of a good book. 

I'm hoping I can convince Hubby and our Engineer to join me in this Quest.  Our Engineer and I have already set up a planned time for him to just relax and spend some time reading every day. 

Our Scientist is knee deep in the middle of his own College Degree Quest and spends a good deal of his time reading books every day - maybe not for pleasure, but for his future. However, spring break will soon reunite our little family, and I hope during that week he will be able to spend some time reading something a little less scientific and maybe a little more science fiction.

For full disclosure, I do not in any way plan to read a whole book every day in March, but I do plan to read some of a book every single day in March.  I'm so excited I am giving myself this indulgent Quest!

I am planning to devote my blog posts in March to some of my favorite books and authors, as well as sharing a bit about the books I am currently reading.  I invite you to come along on this adventure as I finally take the time to Read A Book Every Day!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Running Like a Princess

Even though I had most of my blog written last night, I didn't get it posted.  Instead of completing and publishing it, I used the time to talk with someone who needed some love.  Let's catch up today!

Yesterday Hubby, our Engineer, and I were all dragging from a sleepless night the night before.  We had a crazy windy rainy storm blow into our little corner of the Midwest and it was so loud it woke us up several times throughout the night. 

Last night, however, the weather had calmed down (for a brief period) and we all slept soundly.  Thankfully, we all woke up a bit more refreshed this morning.  And let me tell you, that really helped with accomplishing my February Quests for the day!

Floss & Exercise
Of course, I started both days off with a little flossing, but yesterday I didn't exercise until later in the day.  There were two reasons for putting it off:  1) I was really tired from the storm crazy night and 2) Hubby and I thought we might go to the gym when he got home from work.

Poor Hubby came home so tired after work and our great plan of going to the gym fizzled.  Instead, Hubby exercised on the treadmill downstairs and I choose to do my knee strengthening exercises because my knee isn't quite back to normal yet.

Happily, I awoke with some energy this morning, and I did run on the treadmill.  I ran Week 3 - Day 1 of C25K.  It's kind of funny, but when I started the app on my phone, I didn't think about the fact that it was a new week and my run time would be changing. 

Halfway through the run I started feeling like the running part was lasting FOREVER and wondered why it seemed harder today.  It wasn't until I was almost at the end of the run that I realized I had been running twice as long during the running parts as last week!  No wonder it seemed a bit harder!

Once this dawned on me, I was very glad I didn't realize I was upping the game today!  It made it so much easier to just run without thinking about the fact that I was running much more of it today than last time.

I also thought about the fact that I was SO glad I did it.  Even though running is not something I enjoy and I really have to push myself to do it, I have always been glad at the end that I did it.  Funny...whatever time I spend exercising, I never regret it when I'm done.  I think there might be a life lesson in there somewhere.

 Speaking of running...

Share Love
Tonight I want to give a big Rosie Shout Out to my awesome friend the Gourmet Hostess.  On Sunday she completed her second half marathon at the Disney Princess Half Marathon at Disney World!  I'm so proud of her.  I know it wasn't easy. 

She has been a great inspiration to me because I have known her many years now and she is not someone who has been a runner her whole life.  It's something she has done off and on for a few years, but she had taken a break from it for a while.  Then she decided to join some friends and earn the beautiful medal they award each runner at the end of the Disney Princess race. 

After making the commitment to run, she helped organize a Princess team and starting her training.  It has been exciting to see her progress, and in the end, she made it through the race with her tiara headband and her trademark smile in place.

I love the Gourmet Hostess for many wonderful reasons.  She is a live-life-happy kind of girl who loudly proclaims "Cancel - Cancel" when she hears negative talk.  In the 13 years I have been blessed to have her in my life, I have only truly seen her down once (and it was a really really good reason).

She is fun and funny, supportive and loving, crazy and calming, and one of the most accepting people I have ever met.  She gives everyone a chance and tries very hard to see the good in everyone she meets.  The Gourmet Hostess has been an incredible friend to me and I love her dearly for so much more than those mere words above.

Congratulations Gourmet Hostess!  You have shown me that I can do it.  While my goal is clearly shorter (my very first run of any kind - a 5K in April), I am confident I can do it because I have had such a fantastic example of perseverance. 

(Please, please, Gourmet Hostess - come run the 5K with me!!!)

Come back tomorrow, because I will be revealing my March Quest!  I'm very excited about what I'm going to be doing in March and I look forward to sharing it with you!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Sharing Life, Sharing Love, Hoping for a Win!

We have just a few days left in February!  I have really enjoyed my February Quests for this month...well, one of them anyway...

Floss
Like it or not, I do plan to continue flossing in March, but thankfully, I will not continue to blog about it next month. You are so welcome.  But, just for the record...I did floss today.

Exercise
I also plan to continue exercising as well, but I don't plan to continue to blog about that either.  What will I blog about?  I'm thinking about an idea or two I will share with you in a couple days.

This morning, I went back to my sweet set up in the basement (thank you again, Hubby) and walked on the treadmill.  As I mentioned in my last post, I ran faster and farther than normal yesterday, and this morning my knee reminded me that it still doesn't feel so good... So, I put on my knee brace and walked 20 minutes.  That was all I felt I should do today.  Even so, I'm still feeling good about doing something to exercise today.

While I walked today, I read some blogs....

Share Love
Okay, so here's a confession...I have been all over the Internet in the last couple weeks, commenting on any number of blogs belonging to Melanie Shankle's real friends (not imaginary ones that also blog about her like they know her...).

Evidently, she has a wonderful group of people in her life that love her, love to blog, and love her book. I have found various blogs giving away a free signed copy of Sparkly Green Earrings.  Some of them even came with an actual pair of sparkly green earrings (which considering Hubby's Valentine Gift Confusion would be even more fun to win).  

Big Mama, herself, offered another book/earring combo giveaway over the weekend, and I excitedly checked to see if Random.org picked me today, but alas...it did not.  My disappointment only had to last half a day, as later Melanie posted on her fan Facebook page that - Guess What?  Someone else was giving away a signed copy of her book! 

And how fun to find out it was on Beth Moore's (another favorite imaginary friend of mine) Living Proof Ministries Blog!  That's my other favorite blog, and while I had also read a post on that blog this morning, the giveaway was posted later in the day.

Of course, I went to the blog and I posted a comment.  Lindsee, one of Beth's gals, posted the blog.  What a hoot it would be to win a book signed by my imaginary good friend Melanie.  Oh, and did I mention she read my "book review" I posted a couple days ago?  She did and even thanked me for the sweet words.  I don't know...I'm starting to think maybe she and I are really friends...even though we have never met...

As I said above, I also love Beth Moore's Living Proof Blog.  She writes some of the posts along with a couple other gals.  Lindsee wrote another post a few days ago, that I read this morning during my walk and it came right out of the computer and gave me a big hug - right there on the treadmill. 

Seriously, after reading it, I just felt like I had been hugged.

Lindsee shared sweet words from her heart about how difficult it can be to put yourself out there in a blog.  Preach it sister!  She said so many of the things I have felt during this writing-a-blog process.  It was so incredibly encouraging to me and I am so grateful I read her words this morning.

You see, originally, I started this blog for completely selfish reasons.  I was really struggling after our last move.  I was in a blue hue and I didn't like it.  I missed my old Rosie self.  I reached a point where I knew I had to do something, and that's when God lead me to this blog. 

Yes, this blog is a God Thing - of that I have no doubt.

He gave me the idea of the Heart & Spirit Monthly Quest...then we decided to make it a 2013 Year Long Adventure...then we decided to actually "try it out" in December.  From the beginning, I thought I would just write a couple paragraphs at the end of each week in a effort to be accountable and hopefully stick with it.  After all, I certainly didn't consider myself a writer. 

Just a few days into it, I realized I wanted to put a bit more effort into it than I first thought.  I found myself inspired to write stories and share thoughts I never even considered writing about at the beginning of it.

Then I really felt God tugging at my heart to do more with it.  To share more.  To be real.  And open. And honest.  And vulnerable.  That made me uncomfortable.  I wasn't sure I wanted to do that.  But I felt certain that whether I wanted to do it or not, God was guiding me to do it.  And even better, He was clearly helping me come up with post after post after post.

And since we are being honest here - because we most certainly are - every few days I go through a bit of self doubt and angst.  But I'm not kidding you - as soon as those awful, destructive thoughts try to bog me down, someone sends me encouragement.  It has come from friends and family; people close to me and some far far away. 

And this time it came from someone who doesn't know me and I don't know her, but she is now another one of my imaginary friends.  Today that encouragement came in the words of Lindsee at the LPM blog.  And from the Word of God.  Lindsee shared these words from Paul in her post:

"We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well, because you had become so dear to us.” 1 Thessalonians 2:8

I know by this point I was walking on that treadmill with a big smile on my face, because while I may have started this blog out of total selfishness, the truth is, it has become something so much bigger than my goal of finding my Rosie Outlook again. 

I have to say, I am not at all surprised that it took God's Word to truly capture my feelings and my new goals for this blog, because God can put life into words so much better than I can.

Thankfully, I am much more Rosie than blue these days. I have no doubt that God had this planned out all along (shall we say, Plan A?).

The majority of the readers of this blog are my friends and family. I have several dear friends and some much loved family who have been blessed supporters of this blog and me. 

I want you to know this:  I love you all so much that I am delighted not only to share the gospel of God with you, but my life as well, because you really are dear to me.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Change is Love

As you know by now, Sundays are my favorite day of the week.  It was a beautiful sunshiny day here in the Midwest, which made me happy, especially since, in my opinion, it's still WAY too cold around here. 

I don't know if I have mentioned it, but I'm looking forward to Spring and some hopefully warmer weather.  Although, looking at the weather app on my phone this morning, there are warnings of more snow to come.  Here's hoping that is not true...

Today, with a bit of a twist, I completed my February Quests

Flossing
While in a hurry to get ready for church this morning, I completely forgot to floss.  How can that be after a routine for the last 24 days?  I don't know either, but it happened.  So, of course, I had to run upstairs to floss later in the day when I realized it...which might have been around the time I sat down to write this blog...   Anyway, it's done.

Exercising
So the big twist is that I did not run/walk on the treadmill in our basement today.  Instead, Hubby and our Engineer wanted to actually go to our local YMCA, where we hold memberships.  I know...I've never mentioned that and I have been posting about exercising for the last two months.

As you might have guessed, the local Y makes a killing off our family.  I console myself with the idea that they do so many good things for our community and they offer such a great message and we are just wonderful people for supporting them while we don't wear out all their beautiful exercise equipment.  Yeah...that's what I tell myself as I pay that bill each month.

Today we went and I have three things to say about going to the gym. 
1) I have never enjoyed exercising at a gym with other people.
2) The treadmills there are so smooth and I always go faster and farther when I run/walk on them.
3) I have to actually get in my car and drive there, taking much more time to work out than just going down to the basement.  Let's face it, I'm more likely to work out if I just have to walk down the stairs.

So you can see for me, the cons outweigh the pros, which is why I don't end up taking advantage of our Y membership like I should.

But today we did and I completed Week 2 - Day 3 of C25K going faster and farther than I have this month at home on our treadmill.  Hmmmmm

Share Love
This month of focusing on ways to Share Love has been an amazing experience for me.  I have mostly written about the feelings of love or the actions of others on this blog, but I have actually accomplished a few Acts of Love that I have not shared in my daily writings.

I decided not to share that part of this quest with you because it felt personal and private.  Sometimes no one else, including the recipient, knew who the Act of Love was done by and I don't want that part spoiled.

Some days, I spent a whole day in prayer for a certain person or situation.  And when I say "a whole day in prayer", I mean praying on and off all day long each time the person/need came to mind.  I have also fulfilled acts of giving, taking the time, making an effort, and being there.

Those have all been part of my Share Love Quest this month.  And I truly believe I have gained as much (if not more) than the receiver, which was not my expectation, but I am grateful for it anyway.

Sharing Love can be elaborate or simple.  It can be complex or easy.  It can be time consuming or a quick little moment.  It can be a little act of kindness or something life changing.

No matter what - it's always worth it.  Every single time.  Every. Single. Time.

When I started thinking about this idea of doing something every day for an entire month to make a positive change in my life, I didn't even know what all I would try to do, but this one...this Share Love one...it's made such a huge impact on my life.  It has changed me.  I mean it has really really changed me.

With just a few days left for this quest, I can already see what a difference it has made.  I feel more loving.  I look at people with a softer heart.  I think I am more understanding.  I am slower to judge and quicker to have compassion. 

I am starting to feel crazy excited about what the rest of my 2013 Year Long Adventure is going to bring.  Crazy Excited...and maybe even a bit Afraid.  I mean honestly, who really enjoys change?

When I started this Adventure, I needed to find more positivity in my life, and I think these Heart & Spirit Monthly Quests are doing just that.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

I Laughed...I Cried...It Moved Me

Another day in February and another day of completing my February Quests

Flossing & Exercising
Once again, I suffered through flossing this morning and because we had some running around to do today, I put off exercising until the evening, but I completed Week 2 - Day 2 of C25K.

What I really want to tell you about today is my Share Love Quest.

Share Love
Yesterday since I was not feeling well and spent a good deal of the day in my Hug Chair, I decided it was the perfect time to finally read my Valentine's Day gift from Hubby:  the new book by my favorite blogger (The Big Mama Blog): Melanie Shankle - Sparkly Green Earrings.

 
Many of Melanie's readers were posting a photo of themselves purchasing her book on her Facebook page, so instead of buying the book and wrapping it up, Hubby asked if I would like to go along to get a picture in the bookstore.  I thought it was all terribly romantic and we had a hilarious time taking about 10 or so photos to get just the right shot.  My hair looked best in this one, although I always wish I wouldn't smile so big...
 
Of course, there was a funny part...after a few rejected (by me) takes, a lady moved into the same section where we were.  That's when I became quite self-conscious and didn't want her seeing us taking photos of me, so we had to act like we were looking for a special book while she took FOREVER perusing the shelves in that aisle. 
 
Not only that, but nearby, a lady was talking so loudly on her cell phone, I'm pretty sure everyone in this very large Barnes & Noble bookstore heard her.  It was quite noticeable and after several minutes of her earsplitting conversation, I commented on it to Hubby.  Well, wouldn't you know a couple minutes later, she finished her noisy conversation and then came into our aisle.  And guess what?  She spoke to the lady in the aisle with us! 
 
Oh yes, they were together and I'm pretty sure the lady looking at books heard me comment on how very loud and (did I possibly say?) rude the oblivious phone talker was.  Ugh.  Finally, they moved on and we finished up our photo session...and dare I say...made an amusing Valentine Day memory. 
 
So yesterday afternoon, I snuggled into the Hug Chair, with the Twins curled up on my lap, and read and read and read.  I read well over half of the book, before Hubby came in the door from work and we gathered in the kitchen for a bite to eat. 
 
After supper I went back to reading, and while I didn't finish the book last night, I did enjoy reading several truly funny parts to Hubby aloud.  As I headed upstairs to bed, I carried the book with me to lay on my bedside table before drifting off to sleep. 
 
This morning, I awoke to beautiful beautiful sunshine, grabbed the book off the bedside table, and decided to pick up where I left off yesterday.  Soon I was once again laughing and reading aloud to Hubby.  I'm so glad he was willing to indulge me and allow me to share my enjoyment of her writings with him.  We laughed and laughed these past two days.
 
After getting ready for the day, we hopped in the van to take the Engineer to drum lessons and while we waited in the car, I continued reading (to myself, and then again out loud to Hubby).  After drums, we enjoyed a delightful lunch and then headed home, where...you guessed it, I settled back into the Hug Chair to finish Sparkly Green Earrings
 
In this sweet memoir, Melanie shares the fun and craziness of raising her daughter from birth to eight years old.  She shares the heartache and joys of mothering in this beautiful and (as I have already proved) laugh-out-loud-funny book that will not only make you laugh, but make you cry.  I will say while I found myself laughing much more than crying, there was a quote from a service at her church that really got me. 
 
By the end of the book, I was patting myself on the back about keeping the tears in check (only brimming in my eyes) but then, it happened...in the very last chapter on page 214 out of 215 pages.  I had already been through the entire book, feeling all that motherhood emotion (All the Feelings) when the tears just flowed from my eyes. 
 
It was something a worship leader said about motherhood at a Mother's Day service at Melanie's church.  She said this, "When we loosen our grip, He tightens His."  As you know, our Scientist is far far away at college and this momma misses him terribly.  This quote made me think of him. 
 
I'm so thankful that even though I can't be there to see him through every day of college, God is.  And He does.  So much better than I ever could.  Our Scientist is taking a tough load this semester and some of his days are quite stressful.  When he calls and we talk about that, I remind him of this: God has already equipped him with what he needs to accomplish what God has planned for him.  God goes before us and plans it all out. It's Plan A
 
This also had me thinking about the fact that our Engineer will soon get his driver's license and before I know it, finish up high school and head off to college himself.  I struggle every day with holding on too tight with him.  He's my baby.  My last child at home.  I already know what a huge change occurs when a child goes off to college.  I've experienced it and I know what I am facing. 
 
And yet, I am excited for him and his future, just as I am for his brother.  So while the thought of me loosening my grip is not fun, I know it is necessary...for many reasons.  And the best one is to give God room to tighten His.  And truly, I really want them both to be in God's grip, not mine. 
 
As I wiped the tears from my eyes, I sent a text to our Scientist and let him know I loved him.  And I may or may not have used one too many emoticons.  I've been busted for that from him before.  Then I hugged our Engineer and held him close for a bit.  Maybe a bit too long, but he let me without protest.  That's love. 
 
Thanks Big Mama for putting into words how precious and amazing this journey of motherhood is. 
 
I have loved every minute of it. 
 
Even those times I wanted to run screaming from it.  Even those times I cried with a crying baby.  Especially those times I stood in the doorway and watched a sleeping little boy.  Especially those times I sat in the big blue rocker with two sweaty little wiggly guys reading Chicka Chicka Boom Boom for the 152nd time. 
 
Even when the boy sitting next to me possessing a new driver's permit corrected my driving.  Even when I didn't recognize the sound coming out of my own throat as we pulled away from a college campus for the first time with only three people in the van.  Especially when that same night I got a text that read "I love you mom.  I miss you, but I'm OK".  Especially when a sweet teenage boy gently kisses me on the forehead when I have a headache. 
 
Motherhood is...well, there's just no other word for it...it's LOVE.  You give it and get it back in a way that can't even be measured.
 
Yes, read the book.  Enjoy it.  And then love on the kiddos in your life.
 
P.S.  While Hubby did not read the book himself, he says he thoroughly enjoyed the parts I read to him.  Two thumbs up from us.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Even I Love a Snow Day

The Midwest was slammed yesterday with snow and ice, and we finally got a Snow Day out of it!  Well, at least half a day, anyway.  I have to say it came at a good time since we were still recovering from our quick trip to visit our Scientist over the weekend.

Even though the weather didn't actually move into our area until mid morning, most schools and many businesses were closed down for the day.  Almost everything that remained open closed down by noon.  Hubby came home from work early, so our Engineer was given an "early out" from school.  We popped some popcorn and stayed inside thankful for a warm home.

Truly, I started this post last night, but didn't finish it or get it posted because our family was busy enjoying our Snow Day.  The best way I could Share Love yesterday was to spend it with Hubby, our Engineer, and even our Scientist (via FaceTime). 

Sometime in the night I heard the city workers out blading the snow off our street in front of our house.  I think a lot of people enjoyed another Snow Day today, but for our family, we were back to work and school.  And of course, I completed my February Quests for both days as well.

Flossing & Exercising
Both yesterday and today I checked flossing off my list.  Yesterday, I walked on the treadmill and lifted some weights.  I recently decided to extend my weight lifting a bit and I am finding that I am able to do more.  Progress! 

I wore my knee brace while walking, and even though I moved along at a pretty brisk pace, my knee felt just fine.  Hopefully I am making progress with that as well!

Today, I awoke with a headache and I just didn't feel up to exercising this morning, so I snuggled into the Hug Chair with a couple of warm puppies and drank hot tea.   

Later in the day, I did a few exercises to strengthen my knee and called it a day in the exercise department.  I really spent a good deal of the day in the Hug Chair willing my head to feel better while I looked out over our snow covered backyard.  It looks so pretty and reminded me of Snow Days of old...

Share Love
Who doesn't love a Snow Day?  Growing up in the Midwest, we usually got a few Snow Days each school year.  I remember as a kid sprawled out on the floor in front of the TV hoping my school's name would scroll across the bottom on the list of schools closing for the next day. 

It was always SO exciting when we found out before going to bed that our school would be closed the next day.  We would jump around the living room in our pajamas cheering and hollering.   It usually meant Mom and Dad would allow us to stay up a little later.  Of course the next day, we were probably up earlier than usual, because we couldn't wait to get out there and play in the snow!

Mom would bundle us up in bulky winter coats with mittens hanging from a string at the end of each sleeve.  She would wrap knitted scarves around our necks and after layering a couple pairs of socks on our feet, help us pull our rubbery boots over our tennis shoes. 

If you are now picturing the Malto-Meal Kid from 1980...then you have a correct and complete picture.


Sister and I would then trudge through the snow like the Michelin Tire Man.

Making snow angels was my favorite snowy activity.  Mom would bundle up with us and help us roll huge balls into a snowman.  I even remember one night when the snow fall started early and the full moon reflecting off of the snow made it so bright out that we could easily play in the snow even though it was probably around 9:00 pm. 

Mom helped us build a huge snowman that night.  I can still see us in the front yard of our little white house that sat behind my parent's hardware store in the little town where I spent a good deal of my childhood.  That memory just makes me smile.

After Mom went back inside, Sister and I would enjoy a little snowball fight before the cold made us shiver.  Finally, we tromped back into the house for some hot chocolate with little marshmallows floating on top.  Yes, our Snow Day brought back some wonderful memories from a pretty blessed childhood. 

The day also reminded me of another Snow Day from our years living out West.  We lived in a couple different areas of the country that really didn't get snow.  One year our Engineer wanted "to just play in the snow" for his birthday.  So, we traveled up into the mountains a bit until we found deep piles of untouched snow.  We pulled off to the side of the road and trekked out into the woods and played on a snowy hillside for several hours. 

How many times did Hubby drag that sled back up the hill so the boys could jump on it and ride it back down to the bottom until they crashed into a pile of snow?  I snapped lots of pictures and later framed them and hung them on our walls to remind us of our cold Snow Day when the temperatures soared outside our Western home.  Good memories.

While I am not a huge fan of cold, wet, or ice, I do love a beautiful snow fall.  Yes, I can admit it, I enjoyed yesterday.  Even I love a Snow Day every once in a while...

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Loving My 40s

Have you ever felt like you needed a vacation from your vacation the day after you arrived home from a trip?  That's how I felt today.  Our little weekend adventure was a lot of driving, a couple of busy days, and then more driving.  And totally worth it.  But I am a bit tired today.  And I'm already missing our Scientist.

I did manage to get a little laundry done today.  I also unpacked a little.  I loved on some puppies that thought we were NEVER coming back.  And, of course, the Engineer and I did 10th grade.  We learned all kinds of interesting and exciting bits of history and science today.  As we went over his school work for the day, I once again found myself so thankful for his academic abilities. 

Later in the day I fixed supper, cleaned up supper, and tidied up the kitchen.  Now it is finally time to settle into the Hug Chair and reflect on my February Quests of the day.  I hope your day was as entertaining and fun-filled as mine.

Flossing & Exercising
Of course, with Flossing and Exercising on the agenda, you know it was a fun and exciting day.  I'm still not a fan of Flossing...I have eight more days to fall in love with it....hmmmmm.

As I mentioned yesterday, we did a lot of walking on our little weekend adventure.  I think that mixed with the long car rides, bothered my knee a bit.  It's a little achy again.  This morning, I decided it wasn't too bad, so I put on my knee brace and did Week 2 - Day 1 of C25K. 

I am determined to be ready to run the 5k with the Producer, so I will push on for now, unless I think I'm really hurting my knee.  With the brace on, it felt fine the entire run/walk.  I'm hoping it won't be a problem for me as the running part of the C25K training picks up.

Share Love
I was thinking about this a few days ago, and I decided I wanted to share it with you.  I am three years into my forties.  In September I will turn 44.  I am screaming toward my "mid forties" and you know what?  I really like the 40s.  I might even go as far as to say that I actually love being in my 40s. 

The day I turned 40, my then 39 year old friend, Warrior Mom, told me her Granny said the best years of her life were after 40.  I loved that idea.  What a wonderful thing to say to a friend on the day she turns 40!  It meant a lot to me at the time and I have never forgotten it!

Warrior Mom and I have been friends since our freshman year of high school (back in the days when she was Pioneer Girl...her Blog Names may or may not have something to do with High School Mascots). We have one of those awesome friendships that has lasted even if we don't get a chance to see each other or talk to each other for months or even years.  We always pick right up like we have never been apart.  I love her for that!

Our lives have changed dramatically since our days of homework and waiting tables together at Aunt & Uncle's restaurant, but our friendship is still real, lasting, and important to us. It's one of those friendships that has survived into our 40s and is special and filled with a whole range of memories from sorrow to happiness.

As I remembered what Warrior Girl's wise Granny said, I could totally see how that could be true.  For me, it's kind of hard to explain, but I have finally reached a point where I feel free to be me.  I don't apologize for who I am.  I don't try to fit other's ideas of who they think I should be.  I don't take things so personally.  I don't worry over things I can't change.  I think I love more, forgive faster, and let a lot of unnecessary drama just go.  I just let it go

There are so many little things I just don't need anymore, value anymore, or care about anymore.  Because I can just ignore those little unimportant things, I don't spend the majority of my time mad, upset, or with hurt feelings.  There is much in my life that I can I shrug my shoulders at and ask myself - Does it really matter?  In five, ten, fifteen years....will I care then?  Is it worth being sad, angry, stressed out with a day ruined?  If it isn't, I am learning to just let it go.  My time has become more valuable to me.  I just don't have time to worry my life away.

On the flip side, there are so many little things in my life that bring me happiness. There is so much that I can appreciate. I know now, it truly is the little things that matter.  It's those little moments I have come to love...

Time together.  Quiet weekends.  Laughter.  Sitting around a circle table.   Yummy food.  Long walks.   Short talks.  A knowing smile.  A card in the mail.  A text that brings giggles.  A note that makes me cry.  A bundle of $8 roses.  A kiss on the forehead.  A sweet thank you.  A crooked smile.  Sparkly eyes.  A comforting Bible verse.  A little prayer.  A heart felt hug.  I so love the little things.

I have found something so free about being in my 40s and embracing my inner Rosie.  It has taken a long time, but I realize now that I kind of like me.  I'm okay with who I am.  Of course I know I still need to grow, learn, understand, and change.  But even those thoughts don't drag me down.  I'm up for the adventure of improving and doing better, but I'm also happy with the person I have become.

Even better for me is that in my 40s I have accepted that everyone in this world isn't going to like me.  There are people that just don't get me.  Maybe I even annoy them.  Sometimes I can be a bit much for some people, I guess.  And you know what?  I'm okay with that.  I wasn't always.  There was a time when I worried way too much over what other people thought of me. 

Admittedly, it is still a work in progress for me, because there are some days when I let those doubts and worries creep in and disturb me.  It's especially hard with this blog.  Sometimes the written word is read differently than it was intended.  I worry what readers will think of me.  I get nervous about being judged. 

Thankfully, that doesn't last long and I remind myself that I am not dependant on what others think of me.  My biggest concern should be that God finds my efforts pleasing.  Ahhh, so much good stuff comes with age, doesn't it?

Truthfully, most days, I really don't feel like I'm in my 40s, but I do embrace this time in my life.  And I'm learning to love it.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Our Weekend Adventure

Our little adventure has come to an end and we are back home.  I am also back to blogging.  We were so blessed to hop in the van and drive and drive to see the Scientist and the Nurse this past weekend. 

Hubby, the Engineer, and I took Dad and Mom along for the ride.  It was a great visit.  It was a makes-this-momma's-heart-happy kind of weekend.  Of course, I still kept on track with my February Quests during our little adventure.

Flossing & Exercising
I made sure to pack my little flossing picks, so I still flossed every day.  I also found a way to exercise each day.  Yesterday we walked and walked and walked all over the Scientist's college campus.  It was a gorgeous day and we enjoyed the beautiful campus and time together. 

It was Mom and Dad's first visit to the campus.  We had a fun time touring with them and introducing them to the Scientist's friends.  And did I mention we walked and walked?  It was great exercise. 

Today, we had a long drive home, so there really wasn't much opportunity to exercise.  I also noticed that my knee is hurting again as well.  So today, I just did a few leg lifts and lifted my weights and called it good.  I really want to get my knee back to normal.

Share Love
It was a love-filled last few days for our family.  We truly value our time together.  It was a quick trip, but packed with love moments.  The first night, Mom, Dad, Hubby, the Engineer, the Scientist, the Nurse, and friends Supergirl and the Computer Whiz gathered around a table to laugh, talk, play games, and share love through homemade food. 

We arrived with containers filled with love.  Mom made chocolate chip and peanut butter cookies.  I made brownies and chocolate chip muffins.  As you can imagine, they were greatly enjoyed by all.  The Scientist has wonderful friends (including his roommate, the Music Man) in his life and we love that they enjoy spending time with us when we visit the campus.

Sunday morning we were blessed to attend church together as a family.  As you may remember, a couple days ago, I shared some of the wonderful sermon we heard that morning.  A special part of the service I loved, was when the pastor encouraged the parents in the congregation to hug their children.  Hubby and I happily hugged the Engineer, the Scientist, and the Nurse.  Then Mom and Dad hugged me.  How special was that?  That was definitely a love moment.  And we shared it as a family.

Of course there were several more opportunities to share our love through food as we ate several meals together at some of our favorite places.  Those meals included time to pray together as a family as well as time to laugh together.  We also enjoyed interesting conversations filled with great thoughts and fun stories. 

We spent a bit of time hugging, encouraging, and supporting while we were there.  Sometimes college can be stressful and a little love can be just what a student needs to keep going. 

We returned home having accomplished all our goals for the weekend, the most important of course was - we shared love.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Plan A

So I haven't blogged in a couple days because I have been on a little adventure.  I'll tell you more about it in a couple days, but for now, I will say my heart is happy.  Of course, this adventure didn't keep me from my February Quests!
 
Flossing and Exercising
These past three days, I have flossed and exercised.  Friday I ran on the treadmill and finished Week 1 - Day 3 of my C25K program.  Saturday I was busy with my latest adventure, so I got some exercise with a little walking and taking the stairs.  Today, the weather was so beautiful, I enjoyed a brisk walk outside with Mom.  It was so nice to get to enjoy my exercise time with her!  We had a great chat while we completed several laps around a very nice track. 
 
Sharing Love
We heard a wonderful sermon this morning from a very passionate pastor. He truly lives his life to serve the Lord. I took a page full of notes this morning so I wouldn't forget all the great words he shared with us in his message.  Hopefully when his church posts it to their website, I will be able to link it to my blog and share more of what I gained from that church service today.

This morning the pastor shared with us that God's Plan is Plan A. There isn't a Plan B. Sometimes Plan A is adjusted, but we are still on Plan A.   Isn't that a clear picture of Who is in charge?  There is no Plan B, because we don't need another plan, we just need God's Plan for our lives. 

Tonight I want to share with you a few of my favorite verses in the Bible.  I claim them for my life verses.  I truly love that the Lord said these words.  I love what they mean.  I love the feelings they evoke in me.  I just love these verses. 


"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.  You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.  I will be found by you,” declares the Lord.      ~Jeremiah 29:11-14a 

There are several reasons this passage means so much to me.  First of all, the Lord lets us know He has plans for our lives.  I spend so much time worrying and wondering about the future.  I even waste a lot of time planning for the future. 

I'm not talking about necessary plans where I need to make decisions to move forward in life.  I'm talking about all those plans I make regarding areas in which I know I have no control, and yet, I continue to think about it and make plans for how I think life should play out.

It's silly and unproductive, but there are times I continue to do it.  These are the times I find myself anxious and frustrated.  Thankfully, when I begin to focus on these verses and allow myself to be reminded of Who is really in control, I can feel the peace and comfort I seek.

God promises He will not only make the plans for our lives, but that these plans are for our good.  They aren't plans that will hurt us.  No, instead they actually will help us.  We can have hope, because God promises us a future. 

These verses may be ones you have heard or seen many times.  It seems like the first part of these verses show up on anything from coffee mugs to wall plaques.  I've seen it many many times myself.  But it's the second half of these verses that I really love.

After God declares these beautiful promises, He remind us that He is always there for us, all we have to do is call out to Him.  Pray to Him.  He just wants us to talk to Him.  He's ready to listen.  If we cry out to Him, He will listen.  I know because He says He will.

The next part are some of the sweetest verses to me.  The Lord says, if you seek me...if you reach out to me...you will find me, if you do it with all your heart.  If your heart is really involved.  If you are truly seeking the Lord in your life.  You will find Him.  He will be there. 

"I will be found by you, declares the Lord." 

The Lord is there waiting....with the plan already in place.   Plan A. 

What a comfort to know that I can just rely on Plan A.  I don't need a Plan B.  I can just call on the Lord to take care of the worries.  He will.  I can pour out my heart to Him...as a matter of fact, He would prefer that I do pour out my heart to Him.  Then He will listen to me.  I will look for God to take care of me, and when I do, He will be there. 

I will find Him.  Just Waiting.  With Plan A already in place.  That...is love.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

In Our Family, Food Is Love

Love it or dread it, Valentine's Day is here.  Oh, I hope it was a day filled with love for you. 

For us, it was a day filled with food...and love.  I'll get to that in a bit, but first let's talk about my February Quests.

Flossing & Exercising
A love inspired day or not, I still had flossing to do and I did it.  After surviving that, I headed downstairs for a brisk walk on the treadmill.  Then I spent a good deal of the day aching.  Yes, aching.  My gums ache from flossing and my legs ache from running.  I'm not sure if it's a sign of my age or of progress.  I'm hoping it's the latter and I will soon be flossing and exercising without the pain.

Share Love
As I alluded to above, it was a food day around here.  Of course it was because it was also a love day. And as you learned yesterday, food is love in our family.   I come from a long tradition of food = love.  All the special occasions in my family centered around food.  We never got together without a table piled with homemade goodness.  We still don't. 

And it wasn't just at home with the family.  The church I grew up in also did a lot of "fellowshipping".  It wasn't hard to find a reason to attach a covered dish potluck to any given church event.  My mouth waters just thinking about the church basement stuffed full of people gathered around tables of everyone's best dishes.  Ooooooh, yes, and the dessert table....filled with every kind of pie, cake, cookie, or cobbler you can think of...sitting there already sliced and ready for picking.

Hubby grew up in a very similar fashion with great cooks known for special dishes.  We both felt comfortable at those family gatherings with either family piling our plates high as we made our way around a buffet covered kitchen table.  Nothing can compare to the smells of homemade cooking.

After Christmas Hubby and I decided to put some effort into eating better...and less.  We've done pretty well with it.  Hubby, of course, is dropping the weight at a great pace...mine is coming off a bit slower.  We are totally like the commercial where the cartoon husband shrinks to half his size and the wife barely changes.  But I'm happy for Hubby...truly I am...it doesn't bother me at all that it's SO much easier for him...no...really...  Happy.

Anyway, we have been pleased with our efforts, but love day was upon us and we show love with food.  Don't judge us - blame our moms.  It's the way we were raised. 

Naturally, we began celebrating a couple days ago, because...it's love day, right?  On Tuesday I made Hubby and the Engineer's favorite meal - homemade spaghetti and meatballs.  Yesterday, Hubby took us out to eat and we had a fairly large meal compared to what we had been eating.

Today I made heart shaped chocolate chip muffins and scrambled eggs for breakfast.  Later in the afternoon, I whipped up some heart shaped brownies.  And wouldn't you know it?  Just as I am pulling the brownies from the oven, in walks Hubby with mini Dairy Queen Blizzards.  And yes, he got my all time favorite (which is a special order) - Turtle Pecan with banana added.  I know - banana - how funny is that?  Thankfully I'm not picky about how ripe my banana must be.  It was delicious.

I had also picked up some peanut butter chocolate hearts for Hubby and the Engineer.  To be sure they weren't left out, I mailed some Valentine treats to the Scientist and the Nurse last week as well. 

Now I sit here a bit over-sugared (if that's a word).  My teeth are aching from all the sweets I've eaten today.  I end the day of love with aching legs, gums, and teeth.  At the moment, I'm really glad that Valentine's Day only comes once a year, because I'm not sure I could hold up if it came along more than that!

Oh yes!  I almost forgot!  Hubby did take me out last night to get Sparkly Green Earrings (the book, not actual earrings that are green and sparkly).  I am so excited, because I hope to have a bit of time this weekend to read it. 

I got Hubby some kind of tool that he really wanted and kept debating about whether he should get it.  I finally said, "Just order it" - so he did.  Happy Valentine's Day, Hubby!  Yes...we are so romantic like that. 

My heart is full.  My stomach is full.  I am loved.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Perfect Banana = True Love

While getting ready this morning, I realized I had not worn even one pair of my Valentine's Day socks this month. Where has February gone? I love a fun sock and you already know I love celebrating the holidays, so holiday themed socks are just an obvious essential in my life.

Truthfully, they were much more fun to wear when my boys were little or when I was teaching students in a classroom. Kids always find my holiday themed socks silly, but fascinating. There were times when my students would ask to see my socks or some cute kiddo would announce to the class that I "had on my red heart socks".

There aren't any little ones in my life at the moment - not on a daily basis anyway. That fact did not stop me this morning from choosing what I was going to wear based on what would match my pink-and-white-diamond-and-sparkly hearts-covered socks.

I've worn them all day...and my 10th grade student hasn't even noticed....well, if he has he hasn't mentioned it to me. The excitement level of me wearing "Valentine's Day socks" didn't match some previous years, but I (very quietly) enjoyed wearing them all day anyway.

Of course I had 2/3rds of my February Quests completed before I donned my festive socks today, but I most certainly had them on while I completed the last third...Share Love.

Flossing & Exercising
Flossing...hmmm....this flossing thing is just not enjoyable. It's truly painful...to the point of drawing blood a couple times. I'm starting to wonder if I'm not doing it right. Seriously, is there a wrong way to floss? I'm using the little flossing picks because I thought they were easier, but it's still the least fun part of my February Quests - and my February Quests include Exercising Every Day!

Speaking of exercising, I ran today on the treadmill.  Since I hurt my knee a couple weeks ago, I restarted the C25K program this week.  Today I completed Week 1 - Day 2. 

Share Love
A conversation with Hubby yesterday sparked the post for today. Let me start off by saying, many years ago Hubby and I made a promise that we would not talk ugly about each other to other people. We had been around a few couples that put each other down in front of people or complained about things they didn't like about each other. We just didn't see that being a productive way to grow and strengthen a marriage.

As you may have noticed, I speak very highly of Hubby here on My Rosie Outlook. Our marriage is important to us, so we made a conscious decision to keep our complaints and negative comments at home between the two of us. We are both pretty good about keeping that promise. I also speak highly of Hubby because I truly love and adore him and most of the time I only have good things to say about him.  I will also say he is as generous with me when speaking about me to others. It's just another thing I love and adore about him.

I do want to point out it's something we actually discussed at some point. I also want to point out that we have been married nearly 24 years and we have learned a lot (and continue to learn) about marriage. I will happily share more on this subject at another time, but for now I want to get back to my story...

Having said all of that, I'm going to share with you something that annoys me about Hubby: bananas.

Yes, that tasty yellow potassium-filled fruit. Hubby has, (in his own words) an unusually short window when it comes to bananas. He likes them closer to green than yellow.

Since I'm usually the grocery shopper, the burden falls on me to purchase the properly barely ripe bunch of bananas. I don't think Hubby has any idea how stressful this is for me. (I know, me and my seriously difficult life...)

So there I am, standing in front of the tiered banana display, trying to decide which bunch is just the right color of green. If I get ones that are too green, they will taste like some weird blend of banana flavored bark. If I get ones too yellow and they get one little brown spot on them - it's over. They are beyond edible. And the color isn't the only dilemma...

Because Hubby has such a short window of what he deems banana palatable, my next issue is how many to buy? The Engineer and I aren't against bananas. We don't dislike them, but we don't eat one every day. On the other hand, I do like to have them in the fruit bowl, ready, if I decide a banana snack sounds good.

Inevitably, I will find the "perfect greenish/yellow bunch" and it will have maybe seven bananas in it. That's just way too many. So what do you do? Do you tear off the ones you don't want and leave them for someone else?

You can imagine my delight when I occasionally find the bunch with the right color and banana count. I just know it's going to be a good day when that happens!

Yesterday morning we had a whole discussion about bananas and what is acceptable to Hubby. It's one of those things that makes me shake my head and kind of annoys me...but in a totally cute way. Does that make sense to anyone out there? Our marriage has reached a point where some of those annoying traits are kind of cute now. Weird.  I know.

Anyway, while I try to "lift him up" on a daily basis with my words, and I try to stay true to my promise to not speak ill of him to others...I told him his vexing banana issues were going to make it in the blog this week. He just smiled. I think, in a funny way, it pleased him. And in an even funnier way, that just makes me love Hubby even more.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Girlfriends

I'm sitting here in the Hug Chair with the Twins snuggled in next to me.  It's a little crowded and a bit warm, but it won't last long.  Hubby is busy working on a project right now, but as soon as he finishes up and shows the slightest sign of walking toward his big leather recliner, they will bolt out of the Hug Chair like it is on fire. 
 
So I guess instead of being annoyed that I can barely move to type, I'll just try to enjoy the few minutes of cuddle time I get with them while I share with you about my February Quests for the day.
 
Flossing & Exercise
First thing this morning I took care of flossing and exercise.  Since I am doing the C25K running plan, today was a walking day for me, so I walked on the treadmill and lifted weights.  My knee felt good today, although I am still wearing the knee brace.
 
Share Love
Tonight I enjoyed a great "catch up" chat with a far away friend.  I would like to introduce you to my great friend, the Plate Spinner. She has been a wonderful friend to me for many years and our conversations always make me smile. Coming up with her blog name was one of the hardest for me, because there are so many fabulous ways to define her.
 
The Plate Spinner is one of the hardest working women I know. At any given time she is working three different paid jobs. She is a mother, teacher, editor, and business owner. Not only that, but she has been down some bumpy roads in her life. She has suffered loss and heartache. And yet...she keeps those plates spinning. She is strong and courageous. She is brave and faithful.
 
If a plate should fall...and sometimes they do...she might pause for a minute, but then she picks it back up, puts it back into place and continues spinning her plates. Honestly, I get worn out just watching her. I'm also incredibly proud of her for keeping those plates spinning no matter what...even when the road under her feet is not so smooth. 
 
There are several reasons why I love sharing a friendship with the Plate Spinner, but I think the best one is that we can lean on each other.  She was a huge support to me throughout my years of teaching in the classroom.  I knew I could go to her with anything and she would help me.  In turn, when she went through some difficult times, she came to me and I was grateful for the opportunity to share in her burden and help. 

It hasn't been all heavy times though, we have shared some great laughs as well.  I always smile when I think of us laughing together.

As I think about this month of Love, I can't help but think of my great group of girlfriends.  They are spread out all across the nation and even in a few other countries.  Some of them know each other, others have never met.  They have become my friends through work, church, our boys, Hubby's work, or where we lived.  Some I have known almost all of my life, while others just a matter of months.

They have supported me, laughed with me, cried with me, encouraged me, drove me places, danced with me, sang with me, and even prayed with me.  I am one blessed girl when it comes to my friends and I am most grateful to God for placing each one of them into my life. 

You haven't met all of them on this blog yet.  There is a lot more to share.  Keep reading and I'll keep sharing.

One thing I know...in this life...I am loved by a great group of girlfriends. 

Monday, February 11, 2013

Making God Chuckle?

It's been a couple of busy busy days, but thankfully I have been able to fulfill my February Quests.  I didn't get a chance to blog yesterday, so let's catch up today.

Flossing & Exercise
Eleven days into this Quest and I'm still flossing and I'm still exercising.  Yesterday, I walked on the treadmill, but I increased my speed and my knee felt fine, so today I actually ran again.  With the support of my knee brace and running at a fairly slow pace, I was able to complete the C25K 30 minute run today without any issues.  I'm feeling like I am back on track!

Share Love
Yesterday I shared love with someone by giving of my time and attention.  I was completely happy to be able to do both and I know that taking the time to listen and encourage was a way I could love someone who means a lot to me.

Today I worked on several plans I have to Share Love with others in the coming days.  These plans include a card I'm giving someone, treats I'm going to make, and a trip we are going to take soon to love on some people.  I also began planning a get-together this summer with family to celebrate love. 

While I did not actually do any of these acts of love today, the planning is important and it means I can pull off these loving events.  Of course, the point of each of these plans is to make those involved feel loved.

With all this focus on Sharing Love this month, I am finding that my words, my actions, my reactions, and my thoughts tend to be more loving.  With this mindset, I realize I have become a bit more sensitive to harsh words, ugly actions, negative reactions, and destructive thoughts - especially when they come from me...

I am so glad I choose to make my Quest to Share Love this month.  I originally thought that if I focused on this Quest, it would help others feel more loved.  In the end, I am realizing it is having a major affect on my Rosie Outlook as well. 

I bet some days God gets such a chuckle out of watching me.....

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Feeling the Love!

Oh My Goodness!  Today was a fantastic day in my Rosie world!  Something very exciting happened to me and I'm going to share it with you!  Of course, first let me say that I completed another day of my February Quests.

Flossing & Exercise
Today I awoke like any other day this month and flossed my teeth, then headed downstairs to exercise.  I put on my knee brace and walked another 30 minutes on the treadmill.  My knee is feeling much better, so I'm pretty sure I'm going to try running again either tomorrow or Monday.

Share Love
Yesterday I shared with you my excitement about a new book just out by my favorite blogger, Melanie Shankle, author of the Big Mama Blog and Sparkly Green EarringsWhile I have been reading her blog for years, I have never met her. 

However, after publishing yesterday's post, I decided to post a link to my Sparkly Green Earrings post on her fan Facebook page.  Of course, after seeing the many many comments already posted to her page, I didn't really think she would see mine.

So today was just another ordinary day until...
I got a response from Big Mama!  I was so excited because she not only read my blog, but she said she loved it!  Crazy!   I'm not really one to get excited about stars.  I don't have a long list of celebrities I want to meet in this lifetime, but I do have a short list of people that have touched my life in a special way that I would one day love to meet and Melanie Shankle is one of them! 

To think that I have enjoyed her wonderful writings for years and today she read something I wrote!  

Hubby and the Engineer were so excited for me that we all agreed we needed to celebrate over Mexican food for lunch.  I was so touched by their excitement.  I could see in their eyes that they got what this meant to me.  And as we sat there enjoying our lunch and the moment, laughing, eyes shining, sharing in the surprise of this unexpected event, I felt so...loved. 

Friday, February 8, 2013

Sparkly Green Earrings

It was a damp, cloudy, cold, beef stew making kind of day around here.  My thoughts sure go out to all the East Coasters enduring the storm bearing down on them tonight.  Thankful that our weather wasn't full of snow, ice, and wind, I focused on my February Quests today.

Floss & Exercise
First thing this morning I checked flossing and exercise off my daily "to do" list.  Thankfully my knee is making a good comeback, and I walked for 35 minutes on the treadmill this morning without any pain. 

I started off without the knee brace, but after a few minutes, I stopped and put it on.  My knee just didn't feel as strong as I thought it should, and I felt much safer walking with it on.  Not sure yet what I'll do tomorrow, but I'm feeling good about my progress.  I also lifted my hand weights as well.

Share Love
To quote the Gourmet Hostess, "Here's a funny"....

The other day I told Hubby that all I really wanted for Valentine's Day was Sparkly Green EarringsHis response was, "Oh no.  Great."  I was surprised by his reaction because I had mentioned this to him before, and I was sure it would be an easy, inexpensive gift to buy at a store that he actually enjoys shopping in now and then. 

As the conversation progressed, I realized he thought I wanted him to buy me earrings...that were sparkly...and green.  Nooooooooooooooooo. 

As I have mentioned before, Hubby is a guy's guy.  He will shop for jewelry for me, but he does not like it.  He doesn't have confidence in his jewelry shopping abilities.  Now I will say, most of the time I have loved whatever little baubbles he has chosen for me.  There's only been a time or two...that...well...it just wasn't me so much.  I'm pretty sure I trust his jewelry buying judgement more than he does.  But I also really really like jewels...especially from him.

Anyway...I wasn't asking for earrings for Valentine's Day, no, I was requesting a book.  It's a brand new, just released today book by my favorite blogger - Big Mama herself - Melanie Shankle. 

I have been reading the Big Mama Blog for years and I just love her funny dry wit writing style.  I find her stories about her family so relatable, that I often read them aloud to Hubby.  He will indulge me and listen politely, because 1) he knows I really enjoy it and 2) she makes him laugh as well. 

I think Melanie and I would be great friends if we knew each other in real life.  I also think her husband and my Hubby would find they have a lot in common...especially when it comes to their wives...

So...back to my story...when Hubby understood what I was actually talking about, he was greatly relieved.  Yes, I think it's like the best gift idea I ever gave him. 

Some girls want flowers, diamonds, or romantic getaways for Valentine's Day.  Me?  I just want a book...written by my imaginary friend...who is a real person...but doesn't know me...and that's not weird or anything....I'm sure.