Monday, November 30, 2009

Tis the Season to Shop!

I hope you all had a very Happy Thanksgiving! Mine was wonderful. I went to see my mom and we had a yummy Thanksgiving lunch that we didn’t even have to cook or clean up and then went to see The Blind Side (it was excellent! I think I am getting soft in my old age because I teared up multiple times and I rarely ever cry at movies!)

I also experienced my first ever Black Friday shopping experience! My friend and I got to Target by 4:45 am. As we were pulling in I could not believe my eyes. The parking lot was packed and there was a line around the building! We decided not to wait in the car, but to get the fullest experience to brave the cold and wait in line.

Neither one of us had anything we were going for or had to have. As the line made it’s way into the store it was pretty orderly, but some people did break into a run and started piling their carts high like on Supermarket Sweep. I got the last of the $3 crock pots as we passed by the end cap for them (it is teeny tiny though…about big enough for a cheese dip). I decided to go back and brave electronics to see if they had any TomToms for $97 (normally $250) left. They did but we had to wait in line and pay for it back there. I settled in for the wait and enjoyed watching the craziness around me:

I got my TomTom and with my $3 crock pot and $4 bodywash, I was able to qualify for the free $10 Target gift card! We were out of there by 5:30 am and home before the sun came up so I could head back to bed! I would do it again in a heartbeat…especially if there was something I had to have.

I tell ya this time of year is hard for me. With all the stores screaming DEALS DEALS DEALS, it is so hard for me NOT to shop…for myself! My friend talked me out of going to hhgregg to get a $400 stainless steel stove rationalizing that then I would have to get the microwave and then I would definitely want the matching fridge.

Today I have gotten a million emails touting free shipping and up to 80% off…I find myself in this state of WANT WANT WANT! I feel like that little spoiled girl in Willy Wonka that just has to have the golden egg. And now that I am older most of my wishes aren’t $20 barbies, but $200 iphones.

And since I don’t have a very big family I don’t have to do much shopping for others, so that makes the temptation to shop for myself even greater!

I just keep pulling myself back and reminding myself that just because I have an extra hundred dollars in my checking and a fresh American Express in my wallet doesn’t give me a license to a shopping spree.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Can you be friends with an Ex?

Every guy I have ever dated I have wanted to stay friends with after we decided it wasn’t going to work out. (Aside from a few losers in high school. Side note- I actually found out one of my high schools exes spent the last 7 years in prison- I tell ya, I know how to pick em!)

Anyway, this usually leads to a very long, very drawn out confusing break up. My long-timer, that I dated all through college (’98-’02), and I were never able to completely get away from each other until 2005 even though we broke up in early 2003. That is the most extreme case, and now that we have had four years of not seeing each other, we are able to chat on the phone strictly as friends, but it took a long time and a couple hundred miles between us to get to that point.

But I guess I didn’t learn my lesson with that one because my last two break ups have been mini-versions of that one. We decide to just be friends, then we get back together, then we break up, try to be friends again, and it starts a vicious circle.

The problem is that these guys are really good guys, they just aren’t the one for me. Over time they have come to be my best friend and I just don’t want to throw that away. But it always makes things harder.

The only way I have been able to completely get away from them is when all communication stops for an extended period of time. Then, as in the case with the long timer, it seems like we have enough time and distance from the relationship that we can just be friendly without all the confusion.

So freeders, have you ever been able to stay friends with an ex? How did you make that transition?

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Taking Notes?

I never take notes in church. But today's sermon was really good and I just couldn't help writing some stuff down...

"For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted."

"The initiative for miracles lies within us."

"Prayerlessness comes from pride or lack of faith."

"Realize how desperate you are and how willing God is to help."

Desperation + Faith= Prayer

"Let your desperation overwhelm your dignity."

I need to remember I can't always do it on my own and ask Him for help in everything!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Are you going to see it?

I feel like such a pedophile for getting all hot and bothered when I look at this! I can't believe he is only 17! He was on the Today Show this morning and I like him even more! He seems like such a sweet guy and I love him and Taylor Swift together!

I love me some Edward, but in this book I was really rooting for Jacob and every one after that I always had a soft spot for him.

Are you going to see it? Have you already seen it at the midnight showing?

Team Edward or Team Jacob?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

So I have to force anorexia on my dog?!

Last night we had our second agility class. It was ok. I am less than thrilled with this class because it seems to move SO slow. Last night we practiced the turns again and added a cone (woo hoo). We also learned the command "Go" to send our dog to a target in front of us.

The most exciting thing came at the very end of class and it was the tunnel! Cam didn't want to go through it at first. But he had it down by the second try. By the end of class we were doing the full 10 ft. length of the tunnel.

Most all of the dogs in class pick up on things quickly. I just hate that we use this hour to practice things that are so easy over and over. We can practice at home you know? Fit in more things to teach us so I don't have to take so many dang classes!

Anyway, I had sent an email to the instructor 2 weeks ago asking how long it would take Cam to get to the point where he could run a course and she wrote me a long email back explaining the progression of the classes. So after class she asked if her email was helpful. I told her it was and just expressed concern that Cam picks up on things so quickly and I want something more challenging for him.

She told me just to practice over and over again and gave me some new tricks to teach him like spinning in both directions (he mastered this last night when we got home!) and walking up the stairs backwards (that is going to be a little harder).

Then she told me Cam was overweight. Cam is by no means fat, but he is not skinny either. She has a boarder collie too and was upset that he gained 2 lbs. and was now 41 lbs. Cam weighed 60 lbs. last time we went to the vet! She told me I need to get him down to 40 lbs max. So that means he has to loose 20 lbs! She told me to feed him as little as possible and to use pumpkin as a filler if he needs more volume to his food.

Since I need to loose weight too, this is good because now Cam and I can get in shape together. But it does concern me because I think he will look like skin and bones at 40 lbs. I know it is the same breed of dog as hers, but maybe Cam has a different body type. Maybe he is meant to be a little heavier than 40 lbs.

I don't want to be a Debbie Downer about the class. Cam does love going for a car ride and spending all that time with me and I love it too! I love the way he looks to me for direction. I love when he gets so excited when he does something right. I even love when he gets frustrated when he gets something wrong. He is just so cute and I am glad we are in this together!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Kids say the darndest...

My friend told the most hilarious story at dinner last night:

Her niece was over at her mom's house and her mom had just finished giving her a bath and was helping her dry off and getting ready to get in herself. As she was undressing the following conversation took place:

Niece: "Nana! Why do you have a beard on your kitty-kat!?"

Nana: "Well, you'll have one too when you get older."

Niece: " momma doesn't!"

Hehe! Happy Hump Day!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Read This!

The Broker in Charge at our Re/Max office bought a bunch of copies of this book for the office. It was mainly her team reading it, but since the books were free I thought I would pick one up. They have an office meeting every Tuesday and they were going to discuss the first 100 pages of the book today, so last night I read 110 pages.

I am telling you, go get a copy of this book. It is an inspirational book wrapped up in a fictional story which makes it VERY easy to read and it has some REALLY great points.

The Traveler's Gift by Andy Andrews

Only a few months ago, he was a successful executive. Now he's a desperate man. But a divine adventure is about to unfold. Join David Ponder on an incredible journey that will help you discover the Seven Decisions for Success.

Go get it quick...and come back here to tell me what you think!

But if you decide to read the book, read it quick because I am going to review it and discuss the whole thing (with spoilers) when I am finished. So if you are too lazy to get up and read the book, you can get the review here soon. But seriously, don't be lazy...go read the book!

Monday, November 16, 2009

I can’t believe all that just happened

Last night witty guy and I went grocery shopping at Wal-Mart. I know, I know, I hate Wal-Mart too, but it is super close to witty guy’s new house, so we have been there a lot lately.

Anyway, we were in the check-out lane and so many things happened in that 10 minutes, it was just crazy. Our poor little check out lady had 3 people with full carts lined up in her lane, when the manager let her know she could turn her light off. Well, people at Wal-Mart, don’t check to see if the light is on, they just fall in to the shortest line. So she had to tell at least 5 people that she was closed. I felt bad for her because she was so sweet.

Then all of a sudden there was a big crash on the register next to us. Some lady had dropped a bottle of red juice and it went EVERYWHERE. I mean it was the biggest spill I had ever seen! I would have been so embarrassed, but of course these ladies didn’t seem to care too much. The Wal-Mart people kept trying to page maintenance to come clean it up and tried to sop some of it up with paper towels, but it was still there when we left.

Right as I was paying for my groceries, I kept looking back at the cart behind me which held a little kid. I kept looking at their cart because I was wondering if they had really waited in line this whole time to purchase just one balloon. The little boy had this Sponge Bob balloon and he had put it on the belt, and sure enough the rest of the cart was empty. At the same time I was contemplating all this in my head, the little boy (about 2 years old) was reaching, stretching his tiny little arm and body as far as he could to reach the string of the balloon that was on the belt. Then in slow motion, he tumbled head first out of the cart and on to the floor at my feet. I think I even reached out to try to catch him. He landed on his head and had rolled over to his back and looked up at me. I said “Oh my goodness are you ok?!” At first he just looked at me in shock as I looked at him in shock. Quickly his mother noticed what happened and came to pick him up and as soon as she did he started screaming. I’ve seen this delayed reaction to screaming in kids before and sometimes I think they really aren’t hurt that bad, but they think they need to play it up for us when we adults make a big deal out of it. Still, as we walked out of Wal-Mart I couldn’t get over all the action that had happened in the checkout lane. But now as I type this, I can’t believe that is the most exciting thing in my weekend to share with ya’ll!

I spent all weekend helping witty guy move in to his new house, which I love. It makes me want hardwood floors and a new kitchen all that much more.

I weighed myself this morning and I am down 4% in body weight (despite pigging out on cake and Italian food this weekend for witty guy’s birthday.) That was since Nov. 3rd when I went to the doctor. Now just 6% more to go before Christmas!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Worth every penny!

Look what I found for $1 in the Halloween Clearance section at Target...

Bailey always acts like a King all the time and now he looks like one!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

I'm not changing The List but I am changing my Life

Thank you all so much for your wonderful advice and comments on whether I should change the list or not. You're right- it is my list and I can do whatever I want with it. And you're right that this list is supposed to bring me excitement and happiness and not stress and despair.

You see like most human beings I have issues. I have issues leaving something unfinished. I have issues not doing what I said I was going to do. I have issues with feeling like a failure. But at the same time I have issues with waiting until the last minute to do things too. And all of these issues have been magnified in doing this list.

In the end though, I reviewed the list and everything I have on there I still want to do, so I am leaving it the same.

If I don't cross some of them off by my 30th birthday, oh well. It's not the end of the world. But I am still going to try my best to get them done!

Right now my focus is on #1- Get in the Best Shape of my Life. I want to loose about 35% of my current weight. I want to loose about 10% of it before the end of the year and then spend the next 8 months trying to loose the other 25%.

It isn't just about loosing weight. Weight doesn't dictate everything, but it is an indicator. It's an indicator of how I am living my life and the things I am able to do- like run, hike, lift, jump, and throw.

I've done this before- lost a chunk of weight. I know how to do it and I know I can. It is all a matter of habit. When I am in the habit of exercising, I don't even think about it. All that exercise makes me not want to ruin it with junk, so that makes it easier for me to eat healthy.

But I know I can't jump in and try to do it all at once, or I get burned out and quit after a week or two. So I am trying to concentrate on developing the healthy habits. It HAS to be a habit. It HAS to be the way I live my life.

I'll keep you updated on my progress!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Revise the List?

This weekend I was talking to a friend about how much I am stressed out about getting everything on this list marked off. A lot of the things on the list depend on one of 2 things: money or being skinny.

Both of these areas of my life have suffered a lot over the last year. I had to take a job at a significant pay cut and I have overdrawn my account every month I have worked here. I can't ask for a raise because the winter is the worst time in real estate. Everything dies down and we are not selling as many houses, so it is the worst possible time to ask for a raise. I really like my job and I don't want to leave, but I HAVE to make more money to cover my bills!

I even applied for a part-time seasonal job and Target and got an email saying they did not have a position for me at this time. Seriously? I can't even get a job at Target. Even if I wanted to find another job, I probably wouldn't be able to and I REALLY don't want to go back to the corporate world, but that seems to be where the money is.

How am I going to be able to pay all my own bills when I can't even make it to the end of the month even with Mom's help? How am I going to upgrade a room in my house when I can't even afford DVR? How am I going to invest in the stock market when I can barely afford health insurance?

On top of all that I found out most of the mission trips my church has planned for next year cost $2500! How am I going to afford that?

The other things on my list require me to get skinny. #1 on my list- get in the best shape of my life...yeah...that really meant get as skinny as I was in high school. I am SO far from that now. I am the biggest I have ever been in my life and I hate it. When I rode the rides at the fair I was seriously scared I wouldn't fit. How am I ever going to not feel self conscious at a water park? I am afraid I would flip over in a kayak and learning how to surf requires a bathing suit too.

So yeah, I had a mini freak out. My friend told me to revise my list. I CAN'T revise my list! Why even have a list then? My friend tried to reason with me that my life has changed a lot in the last year, and you can't put a timeline on your goals and used the example of putting a timeline on getting married and having kids.

What do you think? Revise the list or stick to it and pray for a miracle?

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Our First Agility Class!

I can mark something else off my list! Cam and I went to our first agility class last night. We are taking training at Pet Behavior Help (PBH) which is in Chapel Hill, but ironically it is a straight shot and only takes about 20 minutes to get to. Cam was so excited to go!

I was a little disappointed because we didn’t learn anything too exciting. Everything we did was pretty easy. I wanted to get him out there jumping over bars and running through tunnels, but mostly we just learned how to control our dog better. I guess you have to learn to communicate with your dog really well before you can go flying around an agility course.

First we practiced targeting. We were given these circular plastic lids and were told to put a treat on the lid. We were supposed to get them to go to the lid get the treat and them move on away from the lid. Cam liked to pause at the lid a little too long and lick it, but for the most part he did fine. Then we added another lid, so they paused at the first one, went to the second one, paused and then moved on. I think Cam was mostly just confused about what the point of this exercise was. He did it, but with no enthusiasm and kind of just got tired of it towards the end. Then again, I did too.

Next we practiced going through 2 cones to simulate a jump. The assistant would hold the dog and I would walk either through the cones or around them and get Cam to come to me through the cones. We did this at different angles and from different sides. Again, Cam did great. We did have to get behind the class misfit, so it always took a while for our turn because the misfit would have to have several tries. Really it’s not the misfit’s fault. She is less than a year old and just full of energy with a very short attention span. Cam was like that in his first obedience class and it always embarrassed the crap out of me.

Finally we practiced turns. We practiced getting the dog to turn going around our body following the inside hand and then we practiced turning with the dog staying on the same side by switching our inside hand. This was probably the most exciting part of class.

We are supposed to practice what we learned at least 3 times this week.

I guess I am just a little frustrated that things move so slowly. I went back and looked at the classes and it will take forever and lots of money to get Cam to the competition level:

Beginner Agility 1: $110
Beginner Agility 2: $110
Beginner Agility 3: $110
Intermediate Agility 1: $110
Intermediate Agility 2: $120
Intermediate Agility 3: $120
Advanced Agility 1: $120
Advanced Agility 2: $120
Advanced Agility 3: $120

Total: $1040!

And most of the class descriptions say they are designed to be taken multiple times! What did we get ourselves in to?

Maybe we should have skipped up a class? If my dog gets everything we do right on the first try, why am I paying $110 dollars to practice it over and over? I mean I am glad he is one of the best students in the class, but for $110 I want him to be challenged! And I don’t want to spend over $1000 to get a chance to run a course with him. Ugh. Maybe next week will be more challenging.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Defining Character: The Proverbs 31 woman

For the next few weeks in Bible study we are going to be focusing on femininity in the Bible. Of course one of the first things we started with (after establishing that men and women were created equally, we all just have different, but equally important roles) was Proverbs 31. This is a much noted passage that I had read before. It is basically a part of a letter that a King is writing to his son and the Proverbs 31 passage comes from the King's Mother. She describes what a wife of noble character looks like.

Now I am telling you that I had a bad day when I sat down to do this study which probably skewed my thoughts on it. We were asked to list the capabilities of this woman and I wrote "cook, sew, teach" None of which I can do well. And I was starting to think this describes your typical stay-at-home mom...what does this have to do with me? A single woman with no prospect of having a husband or kids anytime soon.

But through discussion tonight I learned I was not looking closely enough. The woman described can also dress well, is a planner, is very business savvy, invests in the future, and volunteers. Ok...sounds a little more like me. I do some of those things.

Then we get to listing her character traits. I had a few about being trustworthy, hard working, decisive, savvy, giving, and physically strong (she must work out!). But I also added (through discussion from the other girls) that she has dignity, faith, wisdom, stays busy, comforting to others, has confidence in the future, always positive, and an asset to her husband.

Now she is starting to sound less like the little stay at home barefoot and pregnant version I thought she was and fits more with what is expected of today's modern woman. In fact it sounds overwhelming- like some kind of super woman. But not so unattainable in small doses of each and development over time.

The end of the study asked us what kind of woman did we want to be five years from now. I put "kind, successful, wise, loved, a good example, and facing the future with confidence." All of which fit in with this version of the Proverbs 31 woman.

Our very last question was "How can we begin to develop these characteristics and capabilities in the current "season" (S-I-N-G-L-E) of our life?"

Here come my goal setting obsessions...

1. workout- to become strong physically (no lie that part was in there!)
2. Always be helping others as much as I can - to become giving
3. Have more trust and faith in God- so I can face the future with confidence
4. Utilize my time better and not be lazy- to become hardworking
5. Dress Well- so I can exude confidence and nobility

I am really going to try to work on these things. I wrote them on my whiteboard on my fridge and I am going to post a copy of them work so they will always be in my face.

Developing character takes time and practice. I also heard a great little tidbit on the way to work this week. It was talking about how life is a test. You are constantly being tested and while there may be no right or wrong answer to each test, you reveal your true character through those tests. I can say I am dependable, but anytime I show up late or don't answer a friend's call because I am too "busy" does that make me really dependable? I can say I am honest, but every time I tell a little white lie, that etches away some of that trait. I can say I am giving, but if I pass up a chance to volunteer to help and instead lay on the couch all afternoon, am I really giving? So I need practice and reminders to solidify these traits in me. And I'll be watching out for those little tests God throws at me to measure just how far along I've come!