Wednesday, March 21, 2012

On taking the first steps....

Let's talk baby steps. I seem to be surrounded by them lately. My friend's son just took his first steps the other day (and really, is there anything cuter than that?); my best friend's son will likely be toddling about in the next few months. A co-worker's daughter is getting very close to walking.

It's interesting thinking about baby steps and watching them happen. I remember a picture of little Eli, nearly hysterical trying to pull himself to a standing position inside his crib. My best friend is, in every sense of the word, a wonderful mother...proven by the fact that she took the picture of Eli before calming him down. HA! But that little nugget was not going to quit until he was standing. Nope, he was going to do whatever it took and boy, did he!

We adults could learn a lot from these little ones. They just won't give up until they get it right. "I can't do it" is a phrase that simply doesn't exist for them (yet). They stumble and wobble and fall down, but no matter what, they get right back up and try it again until they finally get the hang of it.

I'm starting my own baby steps...again. With running. I want to run (I think). Well, the reality is that I *need* to run. I love cupcakes so I'll tolerate running in order to eat the cupcakes without guilt. I used to run. Well, I trained for one race and I thought I did all right with it. Then I just quit. It hurts. It gets hot. My lungs burn. I hate all those feelings, mostly the burning lungs.

But I'm going to give it another go. And maybe this time, I'll get it right. Maybe this time, I won't give up five weeks into training. Maybe this time, I'll convince myself to push harder and go longer. I'm not going to give myself a goal other than that. I won't say "I'm going to run a marathon" because the fact is, I don't know if I want to.

That's what my baby steps look like right now. Just get back on the treadmill a few times a week and not give up...and maybe read a book or two...

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Saturday, March 17, 2012

On life's abnormalities....

I think we all have moments in life when we think, about ourselves, "Well, that's not normal!" I can think of plenty of things, situations, attributes about my life that have made me think that. Certainly there are some life changes that have taken place that make me feel extremely abnormal. There's the fact that it took me 11 years to get a bachelor's degree...that's not really normal. I could probably come up with an endless list of things that don't seem "normal," but if there's one thing I'd really like to change, it's this:

My perpetually chapped lips. I HATE that I can never seem to get my lips as soft and smooth as everyone else's appear to be. I have a remarkable supply of chapstick at my disposal and still, nothing seems to work. I've tried just about everything. I do masks (yes, I have a lip mask) and scrubs. I keep chapstick and moisturizing lipstick on hand and in every purse or bag I carry. I have it in my car and at my desk. It's ridiculous!

And apparently I'm about the only person I know that actually hates running. I wish I liked it. I see so many of my friends running and how much they love it and think, "I wish I had more normal knees and shins and could do that," but I don't, so whatever.

Sure, there are plenty of things about me that I'd like to change in order to seem more "normal," but without our (seeming) abnormalities, we'd be a pretty boring bunch, don't you think?

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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

On choosing the right tools....

When I was about 22 years old, I decided to buy myself a really nice set to Craftsman tools for Christmas. It was one of the most useful things I've ever given myself. And there's nothing quite as fun, at least for me, as the first time you buy a really good tool.

I grew up around tools. My dad is a master with them and always had the best of the best for everything from hammers to tablesaws. It helps to have a garage filled with nothing but Craftsman and Ryobi when you're building and remodeling entire portions of a house. Generally speaking, I know my way around a hardware store and can usually sound well-informed when asking about products and tools.

I'll never forget the first time I got a power drill. Oh....m'gawd. There was so much I wanted to reinforce just because I could! My dad taught me how to use one when I was probably 8 or 10 years old. It's a very empowering feeling for a little girl to have control over such a massive tool!

Yet, despite all those amazing home improvement tools, the best tool I have ever gotten (as a gift, nonetheless) is my apple slicer/corer/peeler. During the summer and fall, I use the crap out of that thing! I could make 10 pies a day, just because I have that magical tool. And BONUS! I was recently schooled on how to get the thing to *actually* suction to the counter, making it infinitely more enjoyable to use! 

It's really kitchen tools that make my heart skip beats. I'm a champ with things like hammers, drills, tape measures, and the like (I've even been known, on more than one occasion, to request a pink toolbelt for Christmases and/or birthdays *cough cough wink wink*), but there's little else that excites me the way a new KitchenAid attachment, spatula, or veggie slicer does.

And let's not get started on cookie presses and cutters...

Friday, March 2, 2012

On giving it a name....

I have long had a love-hate relationship with technology. There are few things in life that I enjoy and despise as much as consumer electronics. Every time a new gadget comes out (especially if it's from Apple), I feel like I have to have it! But the second it breaks? DRAMA!!!

Despite all of the emotions I experience when it comes to technology, each piece I've ever owned has a special place in my heart. So special, in fact, that I've been known to name my stuff.

Several years ago, I was in dire need of a new laptop. This was years before I'd be converted to a MacGirl, so I was given a lovely Dell computer as a gift that arrived at my office and, lo and behold, it was PINK! I mean, obviously it would be pink. That just makes sense for me! Around the same time, this incredibly obnoxious commercial played routinely on Saturday was some bizarre toy for girls and the commercial just kept screaming, "Pink! Sparkly! Fun!" over and over again. One day, the commercial was playing while we were formatting my computer (and by "we" I definitely mean "he") so the computer was offically named PINKSPARKLYFUN.

Ever since then, every single bit of technology I've owned has been named that...I currently have a PINKSPARKLYFUNiPhone, a PINKSPARKLYFUNiPad, and a PINKSPARKLYFUNMacBook. Ironically (or not), every single one of them has a pink case (though none of them necessarily sparkly, but definitely fun).

So there you have it. Even when I think I hate something, I still love it enough to give it a name.

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