Pin Check

* NaBloPoMo Day 22 *

I’m addicted to Pinterest. I will fully admit that. Somedays I surf Pinterest more than Facebook and Tumblr put together. I have all of these amazing boards curated with a very, very wide variety of things. From home DIY projects to amazing recipies. From sketching and drawing tutorials to crochet patterns. Boards of shoes and clothes and purses and jewlrey. Photos and memes from my favorite TV shows and movies. Boards dedicated to my nerd side with Doctor Who and Rooster Teeth both fully represented. And several boards with meaningful and deep quotes on life and love and the pursuit of happiness.

So … a quick glance at my main Pinterest home page can be …. interesting.  Between my friends that I follow and the “suggested pins” that the Pinterest algorythm assigns me, I have a lot of fun, interesting, and rediculous stuff to look at. As an exercise in transparency … what follows is a photo collage of the first several pins on my Pinterest Hompage from some point today.  Enjoy.

PS: Bonus points if you know what the bracelet is!!

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Things I Love: Mugs

* NaBloPoMo: Day 19 *vintage-coffee

Here is yet another (hopefully) regular post, maybe something I’ll do monthly, who knows. I’m changable so it may happen again next week. Or maybe never.

Things I Love – First Edition: Mugs

I love mugs. If I had unlimited resources I would have full cabinets devoted to adorable and hilarious mugs. Big mugs, little mugs, funny mugs, pretty mugs. All of the mugs.

So I’m sharing today some of the mugs I have on my “Mugs Everywhere” Pinterest board.

Many of the mugs I pin are related to other things I love.

Foxes, foxes, foxes, I adore foxes & there are lots of fun fox mugs. Pretty ones, whimsical ones. sarcastic ones. Love. Them.

I can’t resist an adorable sea creature. Turtles and octopi in particular.

 

Large amounts of inappropriateness and sarcasm. All day every day.

Some of them are just downright gorgeous. I mean really beautiful.

I also enjoy a rough and rustic mug. Something that looks handmade and “from nature.”

Mugs. Can’t get enough of them. Always a great gift idea (just sayin’).

Do you have an unhealthly love of mugs? What kind do you prefer? Funny mugs? Traditional mugs? Giant mugs? Tiny mugs? Or do you not drink coffee (or tea) like some kind of animal?

November Check In

* NaBloPoMo: Day 16 *

Since we are halfway through November (WTF?) I thought I might do a check in on my Bullet Journal Habit Tracker for the month and see how I’m doing. Turns out I kind of surprised myself. And then again I didn’t surprise myself at all.

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The Break Downs:

No Spend / Eat At Home:  I’m doing a lot better at not eating out and not spending money than I thought I would. Partially because it’s written down and partially because I have no money to spend .But still, I’m happy to see so many of those little boxes colored in. Now to improve on that one.

Blog Posting / Instagram Posting:  The blog posting side of this is tremendously effected by NaBloPoMo for sure, but I’m hoping that a month of posting daily (or as close to it as I can) will help me stick with it. I’ll be keeping this on my tracker for sure. The Instagram is also a bit of a happy surprise. I so enjoy photography and need to do more of it. Some of my Instagram posts are pretty lame but hey, it’s a start.

facebook-787277No Alcohol:  This is improving as the month goes on, primarily due to lack of funds to purchase said alcohol. But I do love my craft beer. It’s a problem. I mean, I’m not getting shit faced in my house every night, but I do like to have a beer in the evenings. But for health and financial reasons this would be a good thing to cut back on. #workingonit
Exercise: Jesus I suck at this. time-spent-when-you-cant-sleep

Asleep by 10:30 / Awake by 6:00: I’m doing better about getting up in the morning but not about getting to bed at a decent time. My problem is that I try to hold my self to the “Asleep” part of it and I could go lay down in bed at 9:30 and still not be asleep by 10:30. Not without alcohol and/or medication that is. And even that doesn’t help sometimes. I may drop the “In Bed By” portion of this tracking next month and just focus on getting up when I want to. My rationalization is that if I make it a habit to get up early enough I will start exercising in the morning. You can see how well that is working out for me.

Hydrate: I’m trying to hydrate at least 75 oz a day (half my body weight) and some days I do really, really well. Others (obviously) I do not. Now, I don’t count coffee in my hydration and technically I could probably add at least one or two cups of water from the amount of coffee I drink. But I’m trying to be strict with myself on this one.

Reading: This just makes me sad because I want to read all the time, but I find myself just … not. I am however, crocheting again. So I may add that as a tracker next month, in addition to reading, and hopefully will do at least one or the other daily.  That is probably much more achievable.

So far it’s going pretty well. I addition to this overall tracker page, I have space on each daily page to keep track of the things I do each day, so I can go back and fill in my boxes. For me … seeing it written down is a big motivator. No one but me and maybe one or two other people ever see this thing … but still. It helps me be accountable to myself if I write it down. The days I don’t have a decent list in my “Track It” box make me sad.

What about you? If you Bullet Journal, do your trackers actually help you improve areas of your life you are trying to improve? What works and what doesn’t? What are some of your favorite things to track? I’m fairly pleased with my progress this month. And I am getting a good idea of what I will track next month and what I won’t. I have a couple of ideas of new things to track as well. And as always, I’m constantly on the lookout for fun page layouts, so I welcome any suggestions!

Happy Journaling!!

Teenage Mornings

* NaBloPoMo: Day 15 *

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This may look like a giant lump of “gray” to most people, but this is my view most mornings during the ride from the apartment to the high school. The morning I took this, I had to scrape the windows (bane of my fucking existence) and by the time I did that and got in the driver’s seat, he was in this position. He stayed there until we were just a few feet from the drop off area at the high school, which means that he can sense the turns I take getting to school and knew when we were there. A clear indication of how often he experiences the drive to school with his eyes closed.

Don’t let this lump of teenage boy fool you, it’s not that he isn’t a morning person. He’s quite pleasant in the mornings, way more of a morning person than I am by far. True, it doesn’t take a whole lot to be a better morning person than me. But, he can carry on a conversation and has even been known to crack a smile and/or laugh on the way to school. He’s almost always a pleasant person, which proves genetics because he did NOT get that shit from me. #science

But most school day mornings run like this (note that we leave the apartment at 7:20 every time):

6:30 am: I’m usually in the bathroom getting ready at this point and I hear one of his first alarms go off (that shit he DID get from me)

7:00 am: I quietly open his door for the 7 AM time check. He usually mumbles something incoherent back at me while slightly raising his head off the pillow.

7:10 am: I open his door gain, not quite as quietly, and give him his second verbal time check of the morning. This is normally answered by something more closely resembling words from the English language. Never more than one or two syllables though.

7:15 am: I open his door the third time for his final verbal time check and say “you gotta get up pal” and he replies with an “okay” while only sounding slightly irritated, which I give him huge props for. If it were me I’d have thrown something at whoever was at my door by the second verbal time check.

7:17 am (or so): He emerges from his room, dressed with his jacket or hoodie and backpack on his body. He first stops in the kitchen for his daily Clif Bar then proceeds to slip his shoes on (without tying them – nobody had time for shoe laces anymore). Once his shoes are on and his breakfast is in the side pocket of his backpack, he immediately lies down on the couch, fully clothed and WEARING HIS BACKPACK and proceeds to cover himself with whatever blankets are on the couch. This particular morning, there were three blankets, so I had a rather large pile of sleepy teen/backpack blanket covered mess on my couch.

7:20: I announce that “It’s 7:20 … time to go.” and he quietly emerges from his warm cocoon, walks out the door, gets into the car, and assumes the pictured position.

When we get to school (which honestly is in about 10 minutes – we don’t live far) and pull into the drop off area, he will emerge from his hood covered repose and wait until we get up to the doors. When I finally stop, and say “Have a good day pal.” he always (ALWAYS) cheerfully responds with “Thanks! You too! See you later!” and then trudges off to the building. The visual in no way, shape or form matches the inflections of the words coming from his mouth. It’s as if his body and mind and vocal cords are at odds with each other. His body language screams “I want to be in bed.” and his tone says “Hey everybody! What’s up?”

It is exactly who he is as a person. 100% impossible to read. I have not even begun to be able to figure him out and I am totally cool with that. I know he has deep feelings and emotions but he never, ever, let’s them get to him. Well, not never, they do show occasionally, but not often. He will get angry, but he will control it. He will get sad, but not overwhelmed. However, he freely and openly shows compassion, care, respece, and love. He’s one of the most awesome and amazing human beings I have ever met. Morning-lump-of-gray and all.

Holiday Spirit

* NaBloPoMo: Day 14 *

As we get closer to the holiday season (I can’t believe that Thanksgiving is next freaking week. WTF. How has this year gone so quickly), I find myself being a little more contemplative than normal about this time of year. The holidays are gonna be a little weird this year, and I’ve gone back and forth between being sad about it and being fine with it. I find myself settling on the “being fine” side of things.

My sadness, quite honestly, mostly has to do with the fact that I can’t financially provide the kind of Christmas I really want to for my kids. That is really bumming me out right now and 98% of my sadness about the next couple of months is totally based on the money. But … the more I think about it … the more I realize that my kids could give two shits about that, which makes it easier to take. Still not super excited about that aspect of it … but I’m getting there.

At first I was a little sad about sharing their time, but I got over that pretty quickly. I have never been one who was stuck on the aspect that Thanksgiving and Christmas are one day. You can celebrate what those days are about pretty much whenever you want to, so that part isn’t really an issue either. With the recent passing of their grandmother, they need to be with my ex this year and I’m 100% cool with that. I lost my dad during the holidays and it sucked a lot and he wasn’t even much into the whole holiday thing. Their Nana lived and breathed the holidays with the family, so I know how hard this year is going to be. They need to be with him and his family as much as necessary.

So, as I work through all of this, I find that for the first time in a couple of years I am actually, honestly, kind of ready for the holiday season. The last few years I haven’t had much desire to decorate or be festive. I was so consumed with my general unhappiness (in particular last year) that I just didn’t have any “holiday” in me. But this year I find myself actually looking forward to getting the tree up. I’m not dreading the onslaught of Christmas music like last year (although I will NOT listen to it until after Thanksgiving thank you very much and I will always and forever do my very best to make it through the season without hearing
that piece of shit “Christmas Shoes.” Barf).

So bring on the lights and the decorations and the music. Please don’t bring on the snow because I fucking hate snow. Also – don’t get too cold because cold weather makes me stabby. But I’m totally ready for the rest of it. My holidays this year may be meager and simple … but they will be happy. And that is really what it is all about after all.

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Flashback Friday: Washington DC

* NaBloPoMo: Day 11 *

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“My first wish … is the see the whole world in peace, and the Inhabitents of it as one band of brothers, striving who should contribute most of the happiness of mankind” ~ George Washington, 1785

 

Kinda taking an easy way out today, and also with a nod to our amazing Veterans on Veteran’s Day … I’m going to share some old photos of the time we went to Washington DC. it was Memorial Day weekend in 2008, which meant there were lot of fun little things happening in DC that weekend, some we were able to photograph and some not. We got to witness the Rolling Thunder Run as it passed Arlington National 10398549_55268772746_3013144_nCemetery and that was just plain awesome. There was a giant Folk Music Festival on the Mall as well as the big concert at The Capitol and another big memorial event at Arlington National Cemetery where the President spoke. We didn’t plan any of it, but it turned out that Memorial Day Weekend is a pretty cool weekend to go to DC.

A highlight for me was visiting the World War II Memorial. I had been to DC before, but this wasn’t around then, and World War II is one of my favorite subjects, so I was so excited to see it, and it didn’t disappoint. I love the shot of Jamison sitting at the Freedom Wall. A wall with 4,048 gold stars on it, each star representing 100 Armed Services personnel that died or are listed as missing from World War II. Powerful. 10398549_55268627746_5523279_n

We visited all of the other memorials as well, including the Vietnam War Memorial and the Korean War Memorial. Every one of them just as sobering as moving as the other. We happened upon a Navy Memorial Service totally by accident and it was pretty sweet to see. J got to get a photo with some of the honor guard.

In addition to all of the war related memorials, we did the requisite tourist stuff and visited every possible museum and building and memorial possible. We walked our asses off and it was an amazing weekend. I love Washington DC and if you have never visited, you need to do it. It can be done reasonably inexpensively, the train system will get you anywhere you need to go at a decent price and you don’t have to try to drive in the madness that is DC traffic, and there is more to see than you could expect.

I really hope to get back again soon with the kids, now that they are older they will have a whole new appreciation for much of city. From somber memorials to amazing art galleries. From fun tourist trap locations to just wandering the side streets and looking at some amazingly beautiful architecture. From the fantastic National Zoo to the parks and walking paths. It’s most definitely one of my favorite places in the country.