29 January 2009

Random Thoughts

I have nothing to "show-off" today, I just got tired of seeing the date of my last post. So... behold more random thoughts!

There are so many, where do I start?

  1. I know - how about the fact that I am freaking out because of random dizzy spells accompanied with a headache that have occurred recently in my life. Today makes twice this week. I woke up with one, the room was literally spinning in my world, and I couldn't get my eyes focused. Not sure what's going on here, but I should probably call the doc.

  2. How is it already the end of January?

  3. I head to Austin next week for a work-related conference. I'm excited, but I always hate to leave Brian. Not because he needs me, but because I need him (he's the one who really keeps things working around here, I'm just glad he lets me come along for the ride!).

  4. I am such a procrastinator (I call this random thought 'peat and 'repeat!).

  5. Who knew that moving ALL of your furniture in one room could cause a chain reaction of movement and mess all around the house! (Thank goodness for my seester, aka Jennif, who helped me lift-and-move, then lift-and-move some more.)

  6. Who's coming over to finish cleaning up this disaster I've created (Please Jennif... or D? Remember the song: "we are family!" Ok, I'll clean up my own mess... eventually!).

  7. I am really glad that my mother-in-law's carotid artery scope went well yesterday (I don't know if that's the "official" term for the procedure, but it works for me).

  8. Why isn't there enough time to get the things done that are on my "Amazingly Long List of Things To Do That We Don't Have Time For" list? (yeah, I was an English teacher and yeah, I use run-on sentences, and yeah I use the word, "yeah!").

  9. Seeing Venus so clearly tonight was really cool!

  10. Last one (for today)... I have the itchiest back EVER!

24 January 2009

UGH... I've been tagged for real!

My "friend" Ashley (yeah, okay, you're still my friend!) tagged me with the worst kind of tag ever... a "be honest" tag. Helllllooooo! I spend a lot of time hiding my quirks and weirdness, now she wants me to reveal ten things that nobody knows.... UGH!

I'm doing it, but at the risk of falling of the "wow, Kirsten is the most amazing person in the world pedestal" that I sit on. What? I'm NOT sitting on that pedestal? Whew! Then, it will be ok for me to share these 10 "honest" things about me...

  1. I am the world's best snoozer! I hit the snooze at least a dozen times before I have to get up to go to work during the week (don't even ask about Saturday snoozing!). Because of my snoozing skill, I have perfected the art of getting ready and out the door in 15 minutes flat (including shower). Thank goodness I can "go curly" with my hair because that seriously cuts down on the amount of time I have to spend getting ready and lets me snooze longer. So now you know that when my hair's curly (which is most of the time), I've probably been snoozing!

  2. I hate clutter and I hate "stuff"- BUT I am a pack rat who has a hard time getting rid of things. Definitely a conflict of thought - and one that I struggle with constantly. Right now I am trying to "sort and purge" and there are piles lining my hallway of things to "use or lose," but I am (as always) conflicted in my progress. Can anyone help me? (Other than Peter Walsh and the Clean Sweep team - they make me nervous!).

  3. I am a compulsive shopper. Which means I end up with way too much "stuff" that I don't really need, which leads to clutter, which makes me crazy (see #2 above), but still - I shop.

  4. I ate a brand-new sleeve of Thin Mint Girl Scout cookies ALL BY MYSELF and didn't even realize it. WHAT THE HECK!!! I opened the package, sat at the computer to check email and blog stalk, and the next thing I knew... the package was gone. Completely Empty. I ate them all... IN ONE SITTING. That is just sick (but they tasted good!).

  5. I battle my weight (it doesn't help that I can obviously put down an entire sleeve of cookies in one sitting) and I struggle with self-esteem lows that come from being overweight (especially since I wasn't always). I know that I need to do more to take care of myself. I even know what I need to do, but I haven't been able to stick to the process of developing good eating or exercise habits, and so I battle my weight and my self-esteem.

  6. I am a perfectionist. Okay, this may be something you already know, but you probably don't know that it is sometimes a truly debilitating problem for me because I.can't.let.go. I mean, how many times do you really have to print out a flyer for a church activity to change the font, or the layout, or the picture. Too much of my life is spent trying to perfect small things that don't really matter.

  7. I cannot manage my time. At all. End of statement. I just haven't figured it out.

  8. I'm a school librarian and a college instructor who doesn't pay attention to due dates and ends up regularly paying fines for overdue books (my head hangs in shame). Yes, I teach my students (children and grown-ups) the importance of due dates and deadlines, but I don't listen to myself... a perfect example of "do as I say, not as I do!"

  9. I suffer from C.H.A.O.S. = Can't Have Anyone Over Syndrome because I don't want anyone to see the "stuff" and the "clutter" (see #2). The house has to be "perfect" before I'll let people come over - including family (see #6). But if I had better time management skills (see #7) and less Butt-in-Chair (where I blog stalk and find so many other people with beautifully arranged, clean homes on display for the world to see) then I might be able to manage my household better and then I would be free from C.H.A.O.S.

  10. Finally, I hate to shave my legs during the winter.

So, this tag (painfully and honestly written) is finished and you know more than you ever really wanted to about this girl!

Now, I am going to break my rule of tagging others. If I had to do this, then so do my family and friends (who will love me despite this tag!).

The rules are to tag 6 people. So I say, "tag, you're it" to:

  • Jenny
  • Danielle (ha! ha!)
  • Kira
  • Rachel
  • Andi
  • April

Honesty girls, honesty!

23 January 2009

Photo Tag

I love this tag! (I know, I "love" a tag... has the world stopped?).

It wasn't an official tag directly issued to me, but while reading Tammy's blog, I thought it would be fun to go ahead and tag myself (mostly because I figured it would be fun to see which picture ended up following the rules, not really because I "love" a tag!).

So here are the rules:

  1. Go to your documents/pictures

  2. Go to your 6th file

  3. Go to the 6th picture

  4. Blog about it

  5. Tag 6 other friends

  6. Smile!

And here is my 6th picture, from my 6th file...

This was taken of my niece this 4th of July. She was so excited about the fireworks, the flags, and hanging out with the family (well, we choose to believe she was excited to hang out with us!). The face you see above is 100% absolute excitement. Can't you just feel the pure joy!

Revisiting this picture reminds me of how much fun it was to be part of her experience. It also reminds me that we should all try to find that moment of absolute joy and happiness a little more often in our own lives.

Now, I don't pass on tags (D can verify that this is true!) ...but if you want to participate, consider yourself invited! I'd love to see your 6th picture from your 6th file.

19 January 2009

Free Your Mind (aka: Brain Drain!)

In my years as a classroom teacher, one of the activities I regularly used with my students was an activity that I called "Free Your Mind." However, my students quickly renamed as... "Brain Drain" and the term stuck!

The Rules

Step 1:
Set the timer for 5 minutes. Once the timer starts, your pencil has to be writing... continuously. Anything that comes to your mind goes on paper (appropriate, of course)...even if it is just doodling. Five minutes... no talking... no stopping... just writing (oh yeah, always have extra pencils handy... lead breaks!).

Step 2:
When the timer stops, pencils go down... right away... no dawdling. Now take out 3 colored pencils (or crayons).

Step 3:
Pick up one colored pencil (or crayon). Read over your "brain drain" list. Circle everything on your list that is positive.

Step 4:
Pick up your 2nd colored pencil. Highlight anything on your list that YOU have the power to improve.

Step 5:
Pick up your 3rd colored pencil. Cross out everything else!

Step 6:
Group share session = everyone shares something positive and something they can improve.

Step 7:
Set individual goals based on your "brain drain" results.

Step 8:
Revisit and repeat as needed.

The Results:

My students (and myself - since I tried to be a "do as I do" kind of teacher) "drained their brains" of all of the stuff floating through their minds. They were able to organize their thoughts. They were able to set more realistic goals for themselves. They found it easier to let go of some of the things that they had no control over.

It became a favorite activity in my class.

So...now you know how to "Free Your Mind" OR "Brain Drain" (whichever you want to call it). Try it out. See if it works for you.

And now, I'm on my way to complete Step 1 of the "brain drain." I have too many thoughts running through my mind and I won't be able to sleep until I move some of them out onto paper! Tomorrow, I'll highlight and sort my thoughts.

~ K

15 January 2009

Putting Me Back Together Again

I have been feeling like Humpty Dumpty. You know... the wall... the fall... and the fact that "all the kings horses and all the kings men, couldn't put Humpty together again."

It wasn't just that I was sick...I was wiped out.

Unfortunately, life kept rolling on (and here I thought the world revolved around me!) and the files, the piles, and the things I am responsible for kept piling up. Which led me to feeling like poor ole' Humpty.

Today I have finally started to feel like I am putting myself back together again and what I am relishing right now is that my house is getting back in order (don't be fooled, the pictures below make it look like I'm a good housekeeper, there are still piles and files in other places!).

Having my house in order was important tonight because I hosted a discussion group for the ladies at church. I know that because my house was put together, we were able to feel the Spirit as we discussed talks from the October 2008 General Conference and reflected on how much we are loved by our Heavenly Father and our Savior, Jesus Christ.

And now... I am gearing up to host a baby shower Saturday (theme-based of course... and big surprise, the theme is books!), making me glad that this part of my life is "put back together again."

Of course, I think after the shower on Saturday I'm going to "shop my house." It's a new year and I need a new vision and I am feeling the challenge to catch this vision without spending money. This may mean an extra crack or two as things move around...

But, right now, at this moment, even though I might still be a little cracked, I am enjoying the peace of my house being put back together again!

Oh yeah, the cat enjoys and orderly house too...

(Well, she'd enjoy it if she were awake!)

06 January 2009

The Stuff of Legends (or nightmares!)

"It was a dark and stormy night and she lay there trembling under the covers, her eyes growing wider and wider as the terrifying sound grew louder and more menacing. What could it be? Where could she hide? Why in the heck won't Brian quit snoring!!!" (What? Snoring? Brian? Hey, this is no dark and stormy night at all. I want a refund for this story!).

Alright, the truth... it was 5:00 am on New Year's day. The alarm had gone off, Brian was awake (the snoring part is totally true), Jenny was awake, and I... was not! You see, I hadn't really been to bed for very long - and I sure didn't want to get up now. I had been up all night packing (after all, we are pro-cras-ti-nators), but regardless of my lack of sleep, it was time to load the car and head to Missouri.

I plopped into the front seat with a pillow and blanket, intent on catching some sleep as Brian drove out of town. Reality check: sleeping in a laid back position in the passenger seat is NOT comfortable anymore, so my "sleep" occurred in random, small, and restless chunks of time along the road (unlike my seester who sure was sprawled out across the backseat - ugh!).

It was a little more than nine hours later (after all, bathroom stops are imperative), we arrived at our hotel, dumped our luggage, and headed to my brother's house. We were the last of the family to arrive for this special weekend.

The reason we were all there... my nephew's baptism!

There we were: Brian, Kirsten, Mike, Danielle, Maddy, Jenny, Mom, Dad, Bobby, Debbie, their kiddos, and Debbie's parents (in from California) chatting, playing, watching movies, and having a good time. The weekend was off to a nice start (except we were missing Chris, Kira, and Ella, who weren't able to come).

How unaware we were that in a few mere hours our lives would be drastically changed for the rest of our stay. Oh, if we would have known! (Well, I'm not sure what we would have done, but Oh, if we would have known!).

The attack began in the early hours of a beautiful, crisp Saturday morning. Michael and Maddy were the first to fall as some stomach bug laid waste to our family. This was not just any stomach bug, however, this was a gut-wrenching, head-pounding, eye-crying, rib-squeezing stomach bug that left you wondering if you were coming or going. How do I know? Later that night I went down. And then I was followed by Brian, Jenny, Dad, and Mom.

As Saturday became Sunday, things were so bad that Brian and I had to extend our hotel stay (there was no way we could make the nine hour drive back as we planned). We laid in the beds, we laid on the little couch in our room, we sat in the chair, we slept, we moaned, we groaned, we were in agony, we broke our fevers, and then on Monday... we headed home.

The ride home was less eventful than we anticipated, but still very uncomfortable, quite exhausting, and it seemed incredibly long! And although things were less eventful than they had been, our stomach bug enemy, though less agressive, was still present and had left us feeling queasy and dizzy all night into Monday (which I think is today).

It seems that most of us in the family have begun the road to recovery, some needing more time than others. Unfortunately, it also seems that Danielle has been targeted by this stomach bug which swooped into our family weekend with the intent of destroying our time together.

However, we still had the upper-hand over this bug. For even though we have been physically sick, miserable, and puny, we enjoyed every minute we had with our nieces and nephews and each other. Something that stupid stomach bug can't take away (though I do wish it had taken a few more pounds from my waist!).

So, the stuff of legends (or really nightmares!) was my reality this weekend. I'm just glad to be home and glad to know that the experiences that create a legend (or a nightmare) eventually fade into the background and I won't remember how sick I have been or how puny I felt these past few days!

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