This 30 thing ain’t so bad!

For months I’ve been ganged up with everyone else on this band-wagon of self-loathing over turning 30 next month.  At a point I was so wrapped up in it I couldn’t see how I was growing and how ready for it I really am.
Even as recently as earlier this year I was so desperate  to find something…(along the lines of “the grass is always greener”-than from where you are), that I would allow people to pick me and mold me into their lives just how they wanted me.  To keep me in their pocket until it was convenient for them, and when they needed me for a pitty party or were lonely themselves, I would bend over backwards  and move everything in my life to be there for them.  All in hopes that they couldn’t help but to like me more and my life would be better.  It wasn’t.
On the bad days I was still alone, on the good days too.  And I realized all my “hard work” had been for not.
I recently was asked to be put in that position once again, and this time something snapped in me, and everything became crystal clear.  This illusion that we all have been chasing in our twenties for self-discovery, for being good enough…dare I say pursuing lives worthy of being bragged about, has all lead each and everyone one of us to compromise ourselves somehow.
I think most of us by this time have figured out that it’s not about “finding” ourselves;  it’s about “making” ourselves.  We can be anyone we want to be, and our heart will lead the way to being who we’re supposed to be.   That being said, I’m done with the “am I where I am SUPPOSED to be by now?” –When someone finds that map with the big red “X” on it designated the place one “should be”, I’ll maybe take an interest.  However, for now, I’m not on the street, I’m not smoking crack and I don’t have a record.  In my world, that’s good!
I’m also done being wrapped up in image and being a perfect size.  I’m a size 14.  I will stay a size 14. (How’s that for self-confidence?) I’m not the thinnest by any means, but my blood pressure is spot on, my cholesterol is good and above all I’m healthy.  Since when isn’t that good enough?
And with all these realizations, I’m simply to the conclusion that I’m better than molding to fit anyone else.  I’m better than altering myself to make someone else like me more, when in the end they’re not liking the real me anyway.
And my best realization?  The grass isn’t greener on the other side.  The world is full of people that just care about and are only out for themselves and what they can gain.  It’s best realized that the only people that are out for you are already there.  We owe it to them to return the favor.
Finally, I’d like to re-write the brochure on turning 30.  If all this self-growth comes with that number, and had I know that sooner, I would have been far more excited to reach 3-0 instead of dreading it.

Deep Thoughts

Theres been a lot on my mind as of recent.  A lot surprisingly having to do with my mother, her passing and lessons learned from it.  It’s been just over 6 years since she committed suicide, and as awful as it may be to say, the lessons I have taken from it have been in there own–a huge blessing.
The biggest lesson I have taken away has been to no longer keep feelings inside to avoid risk of embarrassment.   The trauma of having so many questions after my mom passed, has really pushed me to make sure that no one has any questions about me if I were to go tomorrow.   It’s not an easy thing to do, but not having to carry anything around (“emotional baggage”) and to be able to be me is a greater gift in the end.  It’s also a chance to learn about others.  To perhaps see someone you thought you knew well respond in a way that show their true colors (good or bad.)
I believe I sit here stronger.  FINALLY coming into my own. –Talk about a “Late Bloomer.”  Finally not afraid to be ME, to take a chance, to rock a boat, to try new things and not fear the failure.  Finally….at almost “30” am I the confident person I’m proud to love, and proud to show others.
………Thank You, Mom.
I of course don’t know why my mom died when she did –as in the “there’s a reason for everything” sense.  I have a few theories….God, thought after roughly 22 years of suffering that it was time to grant her mercy, or perhaps our lives were created to entangle in such a way that through her passing it showed me these necessary lessons to become who I am.    Maybe both.  And if the later is true, my purpose now is to live in such a way that her life and death wasn’t in vain.  I at least owe her that.
As hard as it is to admit, or as wrong as it sounds, I have learned far more from her death than I believe I would have had she not.  If she were still here, we would most likely still be estranged.  I would still not be able to decipher between her alcoholism & depression and her, I would still not care to try.  I’m not idiot, I know this.  Am I glad she’s gone?  Never.   I just know that I would not have grown as a person in my relationship with her.    It would have been a dead end.
There has also been some recent passings of some young people lately which has gotten me thinking, as it usually does all of us, what would they say about me after I’m gone?…which also lead to another question wondering if they publish curse words in obits… hmmmm…..
I would hope mine would at least include a few things like:

She leaves behind her soulmate, Elvis, who she’s convinced is the best match in the world for her.  No one else could understand, laugh with, and love her as completely as he did.   She also leaves behind the greatest kid in the world, Grace.   She was the luckiest Mom in the world to be blessed with such an outstanding daughter in every way.  There wasn’t a day that Grace didn’t make her proud.
Kate wishes to be remembered for her laughter.  Humor was her core survival skill in life.  It got her through the toughest moments, the most awkward moments, the most boring moments.  There wasn’t a situation that she couldn’t find something to laugh about and she wouldn’t have had it any other way.
Her biggest lesson out of life was to not hold back.  To let others know how she felt.  To give nothing but her genuine self to everyone and everything.  To not know how to be anything else but herself, and to leave no questions for anyone else.  She lived to be a true version of “what you see is what you get.”
She loved completely, laughed hard, played hard.  She loved life and thanked her lucky stars everyday for her family and friends.  They were all that mattered..ever.

Flat-Out Pizza

Well, it’s been quite a day.  Up at 5:00 a.m.  Boot-camp at 6:00 a.m. Work at 8:00 a.m.  2nd Workout 6:15 p.m. 
Back in the Gym 8:00 a.m. tomorrow.  And I’m paying people to do this to me?  Yeah, sounds about right…..
Anyway, I promised people that I would post our Pizza Recipe that we had the other night.  Here goes:

Exquisite Pizza Sauce

1 (6 oz.) Can Tomato Paste
6 fluid oz warm water
3 Tbl Grated Parmesan Cheese
1 tsp Minced Garlic
1 Tbl Honey
3/4 tsp Onion Powder
1/4 tsp Dried Oregano
1/4 tsp Dried Basil
1/4 tsp Dried Marjoram
1/4 tsp Ground Black Pepper
1/8 tsp Cayenne Pepper
1/8 tsp Dried Red Pepper Flakes
Salt to Taste

In small bowl, combine ingredients and mix together, breaking any clumps of cheese.  Sauce should sit for 30 mins to blend flavors before use.

Flat-Out Pizzas:

1 Italian Herb Flatout Wrap
1/3 Cup Sauce

Heat Oven to 350 Degrees.  Lay Flatout Wrap on Cookie Sheet and Bake 7 mins.   Take out of oven and prepare pizza as desired.  Place back into oven and Bake Pizza for 15 Mins.

We made the pizzas as specified and added Goat Cheese and Mushrooms.  They were so great AND healthy!

MUFFINS!

Just thought I would include a recipe I discovered with this whole lifestyle change: We really like them!

Health Nut Blueberry Muffins

3/4 Cup All Purpose Flour
3/4 Cup Whole Wheat Flour
3/4 Cup White Sugar
1/4 Cup Oat Bran
1/4 Cup Quick Oats
1/4 Cup Wheat Germ
1 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Baking Soda
1/4 tsp Salt
1 Cup Blueberries
1/2 Cup Chopped Walnuts
1 Banana, mashed
1 Cup Buttermilk
1 Egg
1 Tbl Veg Oil
1 tsp Vanilla Extract

Mix together, place batter in muffin tins and bake @ 350 degrees for 18 mins.

**Additions/Subsitutions I Made:
I used ALL Whole Wheat Flour
I added 1/4 Cup Ground Flaxseed
I added 1 Cup Canned Pumpkin
I used 1% Milk instead of Buttermilk
and I left out the Walnuts

Give them a try! Let me know what you think!

In other news I’m trying to figure out why my GOLDfish is turning Black. Thank God for Google……

Hi, 2009! Good to See You!

Happy New Year!  We had a GREAT New Year’s Eve.  For the first time in a few years, we traveled back to my hometown and got together with friends.  I discovered that Butterscotch Schnapps are rather tasty, and that Pictionary takes a REALLY long time when everyone is drunk, but makes for great pictures.
It was so nice to see our friends that are so easy to pick right up where we left off with.  There’s so much comfort in that and it really got me thinking about perhaps moving back when Hubby “retires” from this job.  Thinking is about as far as it’s gotten as it will most likely be years before he’s done here, but it’s nice to know that’s an option all the same.
Today I’m filled with Hope for the first time in a long time.  I REALLY feel 2009 is going to be a great year.   I’ve set goals on my to-do list, and I know every day is an opportunity for new stories, new people all to enter my life.  Who wouldn’t be happy with that? 
Anyway, along with visiting friends over-night comes not sleeping well, so it’s to bed early for me tonight.  Welcome 2009!

This, That and What?

Wow…the week isn’t over, but it’s been a long one.  Kidlet got sick Sunday and we had 4 days of fevers.  Luckily, she’s feeling better, but we’re still hunkering down for the moment.  No one prepared me that in times of illness, a toddler’s indecisiveness increases by 250%.  Yeah, thanks for that…… *evil glare*
In other news, our house is very happy with the election results, even though we were too tired to stay up to witness them first-hand.  I’m sure this is the breath of fresh air we all need.  At least I’m excited.
In lieu of the rain and snow fore-casted for this weekend, there was a mad dash this morning to get the final things in the yard crammed into the garage for the winter.  We also got Lyme on the new soil on the vegetable gardens so it will soak in over winter.  A little mix of the soil in the spring and we’re set to plant.  I’ll have 8 raised beds for a whole crop of things!  I’m really happy about that.  Then again, it doesn’t take much.
I also started Christmas Shopping last night.  This translates into items making it as far as my “Shopping List” on Amazon.com–but not yet purchased.  I must say that I’m doing better this year with new ideas *patting myself on the back.*  I’ve never even thought about shopping this early in past years, but it’s going BETTER than past years, so maybe I’m on to something.  *shrug* 
My shipment form the University should be arriving any day so I can FINALLY continue Units 5-9 and claim Wednesday nights back as mine to study, etc.  The school had a tech problem which prevented my materials from being shipped for the last 2 weeks.  It will be so nice to start again! 
I think after kidlet goes down tonight, that I will get some art going during our shows.  I think that will help lighten my spirits after a trying week.  A girl can hope. 🙂

A Song To Cheer Me Up

 

Gavin Rossdale “Love Remains the Same”

LOVE THIS SONG!!!

–So much so I made it my ringtone. 🙂

Kick Me

The good news and changes keep flowing here.  After my boss took a look at the first Floral Design Course I was interested in, she said it focused a lot on business, which is fine, but the course is based out of Australia and she didn’t know how much the Australian markets differ from ours.  So, I did some more research an found a Diploma in Floral Design offered out of Ashworth University which is based in Georgia.  There is only a few online courses offered in this field state-side, so I’m finding that this is the most comprehensive one.  I’m still waiting for feedback from my boss on this course, but I think it will be better.
I filled out my loan papers yesterday and put them back in the mail today.  I requested Direct Deposit, so now it’s just the waiting game.
On the Jewelry-making front, Hubby is kind enough to grab some Polyresin for me from Menards which enables me to dip my first Orchid Blossom tonight.  I’m pretty excited, which I know, sounds very lame.  But all these things (Floral Design School and Jewelry Making) have come farther in the past few days than they have in years. 
The Zip-Line run, which I mentioned about a month ago will happen this next week.  I’m deathly afraid of heights, and this sucker STARTS at 6 Stories up.  Time to conquer the fear, scream a bit and possibly wet myself.  But the theme of this has been “Life is for Living!”
In fact, I know this year isn’t done yet, but I’m pretty damn happy with how much I HAVE gotten done.  I’m continuing to work on being a better person, and there are changes there too.  Slow and steady-in that area-will win THAT race.  No more kicking homeless people for me.  (j.k-about kicking them in the first place that is..)

Pit-Stained Art

Today was quiet all the way around, which was good.  We were kept busy at work by a funeral, (which also kept us out of trouble.)  The humidity was pretty bad today illustrated by pit-stains in a fresh shirt when anyone walked more than three steps.  Guess that’s one of the “cons” of working in a greenhouse.
There was a “Creative Arts Walk” in the downtown area tonight.  I grabbed the info at work and pondered going.  Come 6:00p.m. our on-again off-again severe weather seemed to be off-again, so I checked with Hubby to see if he could stay home with kidlet while I run in and check out a demo, and grab some necessities at the store. 
I got there and it was great!  Yeah, it was a bit crowded, but there was a Collage Artist, a couple Jewelry Makers, a Handbag Artist, an Acrylic Artist, a Glass Jewelry Maker and Wood Carvers all demonstrating their crafts.  It was so inspiring!  I milled around a bit, spending a lot of time in a favorite local shop making a mental B-Day & Christmas list.  I went and got popcorn and saw the lady that makes Handbags.  I picked her brain a bit and found out that she just started her trade in January!  All in all, it was a wonderful night! 
Tomorrow will bring the Farmer’s Market, and the park, and MAYBE some berry picking.  We’ll just have to see. 🙂

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