Friday, December 31, 2010

Reverb 10: Defining Moment

My goal was to answer all the prompts, not necessarily to post every day or else finish them all in December. SO, on we go.

December 29 Defining Moment

Describe a defining moment or series of events that has affected your life this year.


Joining a gym and doing home renovations made me feel three things: first, that I was a grownup (you'd think I'd feel that way by now, being married and graduated and having a job and owning a house and all, but sometimes I just feel like I'm still a kid) and second, that I was moving toward something, and third, that I had some semblance of control over my life.

These are very good feelings. These are empowering feelings. Especially the one where I feel in control. I can't complain.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Reverb 10: Achieve

December 28 Achieve

What's the thing you most want to achieve next year?  How do you imagine you'll feel when you get it? Free? Happy? Complete? Blissful? Write that feeling down. Then, brainstorm 10 things you can do, or 10 new thoughts you can think, in order to experience that feeling today.

I want to get down to my ideal weight. That's all I really want to achieve. I mean, yes, I want to get more done on the house and I definitely want to knit more beautiful things and I want to keep blogging; there are definitely other things that I want to achieve. BUT, this is the biggest goal I have for this year. It's within reach. I know I can get there. But once I get there...

...I have to maintain it. I HAVE to. I know I've been sort of obsessing about it lately, but I will go insane and do crazy things if I don't. It's going to be hard. I'm just going to have to say no to so many tasty things. But it will be worth it in the end.

Now, when I make it down to my ideal weight, I'm going to feel hope. Hope that I can keep working hard and keep the weight off. Hope that I'll continue to get regular exercise. Hope that I'll eventually be able to break this stupid cycle of weight loss (and loving myself) and weight gain (and hating myself) and be happy and whole.

Ten things I can do or think today (or in the next few weeks, maybe?) that can help me experience a feeling of hope today (or in the next few weeks, maybe?):

  1. Thought: I have eaten nothing but good, healthy food since the day after Christmas. I know that's only three days so far, but I'm thinking positive here.
  2. Action: I will continue to eat nothing but good, healthy food. I know I can't portion, so I'm just not going to tempt myself. It's a little easier since Scott is dieting, too.
  3. Thought: I feel great when I exercise.
  4. Action: I will get to the gym at least three times a week consistently, and five days a week if I can.
  5. Thought: I am stronger than my cravings.
  6. Action: I will stop and think when I crave something. I will try to figure out what emotion I'm experiencing, and go from there.
  7. Thought: I am beautiful regardless of my shape or size.
  8. Action: I will ignore the mirror on bad days, and prance around in front of it on good days.
  9. Thought: Although weight matters, it's more about how healthy I feel.
  10. Action: I will continue to weigh myself, because I don't think I can NOT weigh myself, but I will gauge my progress more by how much energy I have and how I feel about myself. This doesn't mean I'm going to stop trying to lose weight. It just means that if I get down to 140 pounds (the upper "healthy" weight limit for my height) and I feel healthy, I won't obsess over losing more.
I'm betting putting these thoughts into action is going to be easier said than done. But what kind of a journey would life be if I got it all easily? I'll just have to chant to myself "Whatever doesn't kill me will make me stronger" over and over (and then be mad that I can't eat candy).

And check it out. I'm all caught up! Until tomorrow.


I MUST finish a project before starting these...

...but Scott already bought me the yarn for them...

Reverb 10: Ordinary Joy

December 27 Ordinary Joy

Our most profound joy is often experienced during ordinary moments. What was one of your most joyful ordinary moments this year?

I'm sitting here thinking about what I want to write. What I keep coming up with is family moments. So cliche. So what? Family moments it is!

This happens all the time: I look over at Scott and just feel an overwhelming sense of gratitude and happiness and joy. I'm so happy I have him in my life. I'm so lucky. I get to keep him. I get to hug him. I get to spend time with him, doing productive things or just being lazy together. Even when things are frustrating, I look at him and I feel like everything is just fine because we're together and helping each other through.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Reverb 10: Soul Food

December 26 Soul Food

What did you eat this year that you will never forget? What went into your mouth & touched your soul?

The person who asked this question had no idea what she was in for.

It doesn't matter what I ate. I ate a lot of things. The size of my bottom reflects that. What matters is how food "touched my soul".

To some, that might be a good thing. I understand a lot of people have positive associations between their food and home life with family, or friends, or whatever. It's incredibly common for a flavor to bring memories flooding to the surface, and that's fine for most people.

I, however, am not most people.

Food only "touches my soul" in the sense that I use it to soothe emotions I should deal with in other ways. I want to STOP this. I need to change the way I view food. Mim told me a story once about how she used to love Moon Pies. She used to go get them with her family, and they were dirt poor so it was a very special (and rare) treat. Over the years she got Moon Pies all the time, and I'm sure they brought back awesome memories of good times with her family as a kid. But as she has been working on her eating and such, she's tried Moon Pies, and other foods she associates with good times, and realized that she doesn't even like the taste. And once she told me that story, I started thinking about my food memories. It turns out I don't even like pumpkin pie (if Mim knew that she'd swear I was adopted or something), but when we had Thanksgiving together as a family, and Dad was actually being pleasant and we had a good conversation, and I had pumpkin pie, I just felt like we were a real family and that felt really good. Years later, surprise surprise, I tried some pumpkin pie and realized that it just isn't that good to me.

I have a lot of foods that I only eat because of the memories. I don't even necessarily do it consciously. When I'm upset (or bored, or depressed, or lonely, or tired, or...) and all I want to do is stuff my face, I go back to those foods.

What I need to do is change the way I think about food. What is food to me now? Comfort. An excuse to gather together. Traditions. There are so many things food is to me that have nothing to do with keeping me alive. I'm not saying it's bad for someone to get together and have dinner with family or friends. I'm not saying that food traditions are bad, either. In fact, I think they can be wonderful. Because of several stupid little things, Christmas Eve cheeseburgers didn't happen this year. That's something we do every year, and I was really disappointed. And that's ok.

But I need to change the way I think, overall, about food. I need food to survive. Can that food be delicious? Absolutely. I really hope it is! But it needs to be healthy and limited. I don't need more than one serving. If I'm upset (or bored, or depressed, know) I need to talk it out. If I'm angry, I've found in the past that going and getting some exercise helps me calm down (and I tend to get a very intense workout, too!). Think of how healthy my heart would be if instead of grabbing candy or baked goods (my kryptonite) when I need comfort, I would go get some exercise. My hips would thank me, too. The day I found out Dad was getting married, I was upset so I went to the gym and did six miles, and it felt amazing and empowering, and I had time to think all my angry thoughts and get it all out of my system (notice I called him Dad. He got me a very nice present for Christmas, and I've had time to cool down, so my heart's a bit softer today) (progress!).

It's a long journey, and it sucks most of the time, but I'll get there eventually.

Reverb 10: Photo

December 25 Photo

Sift through all the photos of you from the past year. Choose one that best captures you; either who you are, or who you strive to be. Find the shot of you that is worth a thousand words. Share the image, who shot it, where, and what it best reveals about you.

I have two for you. Bonus!

First up is one I shot myself. I was working on Mim's blanket at work, and I took this picture to send to her to get her excited about it (she was!). This is me, and who I strive to be, because my hand is there, and I AM my hands. My hands make me a very good living (and they take a beating in the process...). I also do everything I enjoy with my hands. Making things soothes me. It's fun. It's a great creative outlet, and I find I can focus better if my hands are moving. Back when I used to go to church I would always bring a small project to work on so I could focus on the meetings. If I didn't my attention would wander.

Next is a picture Scott took of me in our house while we were working on something or other, and this personifies me because I AM CLUMSY and for someone who works with her hands (see above), I'm not all that dexterous. Supergluing the superglue to my fingers is the least of my worries.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Reverb 10: Everything's Ok

December 24 Everything's Ok

What was the best moment that could serve as proof that everything is going to be all right? And how will you incorporate that discovery into the year ahead?

There were many of these moments this year. They all involved my freaking out about something silly (or, only occasionally, not silly) and Scott saying "Everything will be fine, you worry too much, yadda yadda etc.", then my saying "Yeah, you're right, I'm a total fruit." He talks me down every time. Seriously, I got so lucky when I met my Scott.

This doesn't happen all of a sudden for me. It's the cumulative effect of many moments, so as time goes by I worry less and less. I will never not worry because, let's face it, I'm me. But I'm getting better, slowly but surely.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Reverb 10: New Name

December 23 New Name

Let's meet again, for the first time. If you could introduce yourself by another name for just one day, what would it be and why?

Well...growing up I always hated my name. Anna. Bleh. So old-fashioned. No wonder I wasn't popular; only the Britneys and Tiffanys and all those other blonde girls were. But as I've grown older, I've come to like my name more. I don't love it. I think the only reasons I don't love it are the way people say it (Anna, such a flat, nasal A sound that most people use) and it bugs me that people can't seem to understand that Anna and Anne and Ana and Annie are NOT the same thing (there's a woman at work who can't seem to call me anything but Annie. I let it slide, since it seems like a lost cause).

All that being said, I wouldn't want to introduce myself with any other name. It's still me, so why lie? Silly question, really.

Reverb 10: Travel

December 22 Travel

How did you travel in 2010? How and/or where would you like to travel next year?

Well, seeing as I'm a total homebody and I've spent all my extra cash on my kitchen, I didn't really travel this year. I went to Lava Hot Springs with Mim, and we had pie, but I think that was about it.

This coming year I would like to take a vacation, if we can spare the cash and time. I think the problem with when Scott and I went to Vegas in 2009 was that we were trying hard not to spend money, so we didn't do a lot of things we could have done, had we budgeted better.

Scott and I are going to work very hard to eat right and exercise (I need to find some kind of exercise Scott won't loathe) and get into shape, and we'll save tons of money not eating out, so maybe we can actually plan something for later this year. Maybe.

Of course, this coming year we'll be paying for flooring and maybe we'll start in the basement. Expensiveness.

Reverb 10: Future Self

December 21 Future Self

Imagine yourself five years from now. What advice would you give your current self for the year ahead? (Bonus: Write a note to yourself ten years ago. What would you tell your younger self?)

I'm only four days behind. This is a Christmas Miracle!

Five years from now I'll be 29 (almost 30!) and (hopefully) we'll be on our next house flip.

Dear Me Now,
You know, I know right now things are stressful because this is your first remodel. It's exciting and you feel like a grown-up, but it's also stressful because you're going to make a few mistakes and there will be things you won't be happy with. The nice thing is that you're still going to make money off of the house you're in. Seriously, you've already increased the value of the house by thousands and thousands of dollars, and you haven't even started working on the basement. Take a chill pill. Enjoy the ride. And when you're done and you sell for a profit, go do something fun with a bit of the money you make.
Me in Five years
P.S. If things don't work out, it isn't the end of the world. Take another chill pill.

Ten years ago I was 14, nearing the end of my sophomore year of high school. I had a crush on a boy (over whom my best friend and I broke up), whom I ended up dating, then dumping because he was a total pothead.

Dear Me Ten Years Ago,
I know you're head over heels for him. I know he seems "deep" and he actually listens to what you have to say. But trust me, you're going to have to choose between him and your closest friend. It's juvenile, really, because she totally dated him behind your back before you dated him, even though she knew you liked him, and then when you date him you'll have to find a new place to sit at lunch, because she and all of her groupies will pretend you aren't there and you'll have to try hard not to cry. And after all that, you'll break up and she won't forgive you until you're signing yearbooks at the end of senior year, and even then she'll just stop hating you. You won't ever be friends again. All this being said, you'll probably ignore me and date him anyway, because you're a hopeless romantic and desperate to be loved, and on top of that you're a little boy crazy. At least you'll forever remember the smell of spearmint and pot very fondly...
Me Now (who finally has boys figured out)

Friday, December 24, 2010


Listen, I know I'm totally AWOLing it lately, but Happy Christmas, everyone.

We have no freaking snow.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Reverb 10: Beyond Avoidance

December 20 Beyond Avoidance

What should you have done this year but didn't because you were too scared, worried, unsure, busy, or otherwise deterred from doing? (Bonus: Will you do it?)

There are a few things. One is painting the rest of my living room and kitchen. I'm not scared about it or anything (because that would just be weird); I just keep putting it off. I know it'll get done, probably early this coming year, since we need to finish paint before we put down the new floor. I just keep putting it off because I'm having so much fun making things with sticks and string...

The other thing is exercise. I've been deterred from exercising this past month just because I've been eating terribly and I feel all blah and my feet still hurt...I know, it's excuses, but I'm jumping back in as soon as Christmas is over. My goal is to go to the gym every day (and if I set that goal, I'll skip sometimes but still go at least three times a week, and that's acceptable to me).

2011 needs to be the year of exercise for me. It needs to be the year I solidify good eating and exercise habits. I want to start running, but I'm going to need to get some more weight off before I try, because my knees are going to take the most damage. I also need to go back to spinning, because it's a great workout and doesn't hurt my joints as much. Once I've lost a bit more weight and gotten my lungs a bit more fit, I want to try Zumba again. It was fun, but I just couldn't keep up and, once again, I think the extra weight was putting too much pressure on my joints.

Reverb 10: Healing

December 19 Healing

What healed you this year? Was it sudden, or a drip-by-drip evolution? How would you like to be healed in 2011?

What a loaded question.

I've been healing for years now, from all sorts of things. It's always a long process. It's always a difficult process. It may never end, but I'll keep trying.

I think the biggest single thing that healed me (of what, I don't know) this past year was blogging. It's been a little surprising to me how much I've learned about myself while I'm writing. It's good to think about what's going on in my head. It's weird in there, for sure, but there are some good things floating around in there as well.

I think having a place to write whatever I want, or whatever I need, sometimes, is so healthy for me. I mean, yes, a lot of the time my content is just about daily life, or pictures of Buster or The Best Baby Ever, but sometimes when something's really eating at me I can write a bit, and I don't write much, but for every word I write there are five more in my head that I didn't share with you all, and putting some of it down helps me sort out the rest. Trust me, you're glad I have a filter (I'm freaking nuts, remember?).

So this is gradual. It's slow. And I'm ok with that.

So how would I like to be healed in 2011? Well, the biggest thing I'm constantly worrying about right now is my crappy emotional eating problems. I don't know if I'll ever be able to heal the emotional roots of this problem, but hopefully this coming year I can at least break the cycle and find another way to express those emotions. Who knows, maybe I'll change from an emotional eater to an emotional marathon runner. I'd have great legs, for sure...

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Reverb 10: Try

December 18 Try

What do you want to try next year? Is there something you wanted to try in 2010? What happened when you did/didn't go for it?

Well. In 2011 I would like to try to expand my sock knitting skills by adding a few new techniques to my repertoire. I am currently looking at a pattern for a gorgeous pair of knee socks that I am simply drooling to try! In fact, Scott wanted to buy me another Christmas present, so I casually pointed out what yarn I would need for them, and he bought it! I also went on Etsy the other day and bought a whole bunch of stitch markers.

So far, in sock knitting, I've done almost all in plain stockinette stitch. I like using dyed yarn and watching the color changes, and most of the time I think too much color variation plus a stitch pattern looks too busy. SO, I would like to try something more challenging. These new socks, being knee socks, will have shaping in the calf area instead of being the same width the whole length of the sock. The pattern involves some charts, which I've never used before, so I'll have to learn how to read those. It involves some lace, which will be a challenge, and has some new Japanese stitches that I've never used before. All in all, I think I'm insane to tackle this, but I'm ready to hone my skills (plus they're really pretty and I like wearing pretty socks).

As for trying something this past year, I tried to stay at 150 lbs. That didn't quite work out. I am glad I tried, though. I'm just that much closer to being able to change my habits and become healthy and fit. I'm going to try again this next year, and I have a good feeling about it. I think that, since Scott and I will be dieting together, we'll be more successful. It's so much harder to diet when other people around you aren't, so we will be there to support each other and help each other out when it gets hard.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Reverb 10: Lesson Learned

December 17 Lesson Learned

What was the best thing you learned about yourself this past year? And how will you apply that lesson going forward?

I can't portion french fries.


Not eating french fries anymore.


(Total cop-out, I know...)

Reverb 10: Friendship

December 16 Friendship

How has a friend changed you or your perspective on the world this year? Was this change gradual, or a sudden burst?

I suppose Kwiddens is my friend as well as my sister, so let's talk about her!

Talking with Kwiddens, about anything, brings clarity into the mix. She's very good at talking things through and she always has a nice, fresh perspective. So, as I've talked to her, gradually, I've been a bit better about forgiving people and trying to put myself in others' shoes.

I'm always evolving and changing the way I see the world (and the way I interact with it), and it's because of the people I hang with. Scott, Mim, Kwiddens, Em, and Jorg all help me to be a better person, and I'm very lucky to have that.

I feel like I'm losing steam here. Maybe these questions just aren't as good, or maybe I'm just too tired to think of anything clever to say. Oh well. I'm still enjoying myself and learning new things about myself, so it's a good thing.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Reverb 10: 5 Minutes

December 15 5 Minutes

Imagine you will completely lose your memory of 2010 in five minutes. Set an alarm for five minutes and capture the things you most want to remember about 2010.

Well, first of all, I'm ditching the time constraint. I checked to see what the prompt was for yesterday and I've been thinking about it for about a day, and I'm not going to take only five minutes to write. So there.

I want to remember:
  • The times I was shown extra appreciation at work. This past year, with our new instruments, our lab has exponentially increased the number of chemical tests we do. It's amazing. We're working hard to keep that going and pull more business in, so it's nice to receive a Thank You.
  • The times I felt amazing at the gym. I'm going to go more this next year (I totally slacked off in December...but planning on picking it up again after Christmas) and I kinda want to try actually running. I actually ran track when I was in school, and I kinda sucked at it, but I do remember enjoying it so much that it didn't matter. We'll see if my knees can actually handle it...
  • That one time Kwiddens had a baby. AMAZING. It's a life-changing experience, and I got to go through it without the pesky pain.
  • Holding said baby in the few days after she was born. SO SNUGGLY.
  • The feelings of satisfaction every time Scott and I finished a project on the house.
  • My visit with Li. We did a ton of fun things and I always love when she stays with us.
  • Sunday mornings. We always sleep in, and then when we wake up we get Buster up on our bed and play and snuggle with him and just lay in bed, all lazy and warm, and talk all about everything.
  • Time with my family. Holidays, birthdays, just-hanging-out-days, etc. It's the best.
And that's probably not everything. If I tried I could probably think of more but I'm too lazy right now.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Nyah Bebby!

Reverb 10: Appreciate

December 14 Appreciate

What's the one thing you have come to appreciate most in the past year? How do you express gratitude for it?

There's JUST SO MUCH. There are so many amazing things I could choose from.

I don't know if you've noticed, but I've been very introspective lately (Reverb 10, anyone?), so I've been thinking about all the wonderful things in my life.

Also, I've been thinking a lot about food and dieting and such.

So I think for my one thing I will choose learning to eat right and maintain my weight.

Now I know, you're thinking, "Um, Anna, you kinda gained some weight back".

Well, yeah...but it wasn't until after I started slacking off. I stopped logging all my food and exercise on FatSecret. I let go of my No French Fries Rule. For months there I was at a stable weight, not going up or down. I'm convinced that if I can just get down to where I want to stay, I now have the know-how to stay there. And, honestly, I'm bordering on an eating disorder obsession with my body lately. I NEED to get thin. I need a therapist...

I've suffered from eating disorders most of my life. Seeing someone else enjoy a regular portion of a food, any food, without any associated emotion is enigmatic to me. I've always had something else going on in my mind when I eat. For a few months I felt like I had broken that horrible cycle. I felt like I was actually in control. And, not surprisingly, I felt beautiful.

I've spent this whole year studying about diet and exercise. I have all the facts. I just need to start using them.

So on December 26, Scott and I are going on a diet. We're going to encourage each other, eat meals together, and get busy doing stuff on the house so we're not tempted to sit around and eat. We are a good-looking couple, and when we're done you'll actually be able to tell!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Reverb 10: Action

December 13 Action

When it comes to aspirations, it's not about ideas. It's about making ideas happen. What is your next step?

I suppose this question wants to know what my process is: how I go from idea to MAGIC.

I like making lists and spreadsheets and pro/con lists. I mean really like.

For Mim's blanket, when I wanted to expand it, I decided to make four of the original pattern and then connect them, but I didn't want all four to be the same. SO, I made a spreadsheet, listing each square and what colors make up each round, then making three more columns in which I rotated the colors by one for each new square.

Yep. I'm a freak.

But organization makes me so happy.

I always make a plan, put it on paper, planning each step and what I need to have ready to be able to complete that step, then do it in order (as much as possible), crossing off items off my list as I go.

It takes a few extra minutes (or hours...I make really good spreadsheets!) in the beginning but saves a ton of guesswork and planning throughout the whole process.

Reverb 10: Body Integration

December 12 Body Integration

This year, when did you feel most integrated with your body? Did you have a moment where there wasn't mind and body, but simply a cohesive YOU, alive and present?

I felt like this when I started exercising regularly. I feel like this every time. I spend the hour listening to my body, making sure everything is working the way it should. I feel strong and beautiful. I'm always listening to music, and more often than not my steps are in time with the beat.

I also love stretching while I'm in the shower. Stretching under hot running water = nice, relaxed muscles = BLISS.

Reverb 10: 11 Things

December 11 11 Things

What are 11 things your life doesn't need in 2011? How will you go about eliminating them? How will getting rid of these 11 things change your life?

My life doesn't need:

1. Clutter. I'm going to try not to buy things I don't need. This does not include new music, movies, or TV. This does include jewelry I don't ever get a chance to wear, extra clothes or shoes, even books about yarn that I realistically won't get a chance to use. I'm even not going to buy yarn unless I need it for a specific project. I have plenty.

2. Prejudice. I need to stop making snap judgements made from one small characteristic I see in someone, or from one little thing someone does. I don't do this often, though; mostly when I'm driving. Someone does something stupid and I assume they must be an idiot, when I do stupid things while driving just as often.

3. Food. I mean junk food. I need to fall in love with vegetables again.

4. Drama. I need to work on letting things go and on turning the other cheek. Some days I wake up and take everything personally, just because that's the mood I'm in because I'm nuts. Then I spend the whole day being mad at someone or something for no reason at all, and it totally ruins my day and stresses Scott out because he keeps thinking he did something to make me mad (you never do, Scott, you're an angel). The drama is all in my head!

5. Body fat. Gotta get rid of it!

I'm out. How about some things I do need in 2011?

1. More handmade socks. I'm working on a pair right now. I got the urge to make socks this weekend when I ran out of yarn for Mim's blanket, and when I went to grab my supplies, I had already made one sock! I had put it away and forgotten about it when I started Mim's blanket all those months ago!

2. A new floor for my kitchen. As much as I love walking around on carpet remnants...

3. I need to finish projects! This includes work on the house AND finishing as many yarny projects as I can. Eventually, I'd like to only have one or two going at any given moment. We'll see how that works out...

How will all these change my life? Well, if everything works out, my house will be cleaner, I will be happier (and have warmer feet), and I will be healthier. All good things!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Reverb 10: Wisdom

December 10 Wisdom

What was the wisest decision you made this year, and how did it play out?

The wisest decision I made this year was to give up french fries. How did it play out?


Until I decided that I was doing really well, so I could have them once in a while.


But I think making the decision in the first place was symbolic of my admitting to myself that I can't eat certain foods. They're my emotional foods. I go to them when I'm upset, and I'm such an intense kind of upset that I can't stop eating them. I really ought to give up those Lofthouse frosted sugar cookies, too, but I don't know if I'm that strong!

As soon as Christmas is over Scott and I are hitting the diet hard. We're going to have to work very hard, together, to make sure we don't fall into bad patterns again. We need to come to terms with the fact that our metabolisms just don't support eating crappy junk food. And frankly, with the diseases that run in Scott's family (heart disease and diabetes) we need to get healthy, or else.

So my next wise decision, for 2011?

Actually stick to it this time.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Reverb 10: Party

December 9 Party

What social gathering rocked your socks off in 2010? Describe the people, music, food, drink, clothes, shenanigans.

I'm not usually the rock-your-socks-off party type...

The parties I go to consist of work parties and family/holiday parties.

I suppose if I had to pick one that "rocked my socks off", I'd choose...

And that's where I left off yesterday before I went to Scott's company Christmas party (I know, I'm behind again...). Being there made me realize: I don't actually like parties (mostly). I had planned on coming home with a new party perspective and writing something about how nice it is to see family and friends for the holidays, but I was being a total Grinch last night, I suppose.

Parts of last night's party were fun. After we had gotten food and settled down at a table with another couple and we had a nice, laughing, joking, light but refreshing conversation, and it was awesome. I do love that part: sitting down with people and catching up and making small talk (but meaningful small talk) (if that makes any sense).

I don't like being in loud places, or crowded places. I am not hard-of-hearing, according to the many audiologists that have tested me over the years, but something in my brain isn't able to ignore background noise and focus on something being said to me unless I'm looking at the person talking, they're speaking in my direction, loudly enough, and with very very good enunciation. That's why I detest mumblers. If someone says something to me, and I have to ask "What?" more than once, I get frustrated, so I usually ignore them. Most of the time when I'm at a party and someone tries to talk to me I can't understand a word they're saying, so last night I ended up just sitting on a couch with my hands in my pockets, just waiting for it to be over. Sad, I know.

I also don't do well in social situations with new people. I am, by nature, shy, though you'd never know it because I try very hard to act like I'm naturally outgoing. So I have a really hard time relating to new people, finding something we have in common, and not making an absolute fool out of myself. I try hard enough with people I already know as it is, so this is just stressful for me. It's exhausting, actually.

I love much smaller parties, maybe too small to even be considered "parties". It's just so much better for me to be able to talk with people one on one and really focus on what they are saying. It's more intimate. I can learn more about the people around me this way. I make friends more easily this way (and the friendships are more lasting). Maybe this makes me a total dork, but if it means having closer relationships (and feeling less awkward) then I don't care.

The nice thing about the party last night? I met Scott's coworker's wife, who is a chemist at another nutraceutical company.We had a nice, nerdy conversation. It was fabulous! Usually I have to really simplify when I describe what I do because people don't know what I'm talking about but she knew! I love smart chemist chicks!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Reverb 10: Beautifully Different

December 8 Beautifully Different

Think about what makes you different and what you do that lights people up. Reflect on all the things that make you different - you'll find they're what make you beautiful.

I am beautiful. I admit it. Heh.

There are a lot of things that make me different from most people. How about a list?

1. I'm freaking nuts, you guys. Most people aren't (or at least they haven't been diagnosed...), so I am different. This is usually a bad thing, but medication is magic, so it's all good (most of the time). There is some good that comes from this, though. I have to keep a close eye on my moods, and why I'm feeling the way I'm feeling. I have to work hard to make sure this illness doesn't screw with my marriage (or any number of other things in my life), so I am very careful with my words and I consider carefully what the things I say will really say to other people. I'm not perfect about this, of course; everyone loses it once in a while and I am no exception (and anyone who says he/she never loses control is LYING) (unless it's Jesus). But I think that having to think carefully about the things I say helps me be more considerate and helps me communicate more effectively.

2. I get along way better with men than women. I have a few close girlfriends, but the vast majority of my good friends over the years have been dudes. Guys just make more sense to me. They aren't catty and most of the time they say what they mean, they don't overthink things or play games, and they don't gossip as much (not all women do this, of course, it's just a generalization). This has been frustrating in the past; when I was in high school and I wasn't allowed to date until I was 16, I couldn't hang out with my friends because it would be a "date", even though I had no romantic feelings for my guy friends. Mim and I fought about this one a lot. Fun times. Also, in college, before I dated Scott, I was totally in love with my best friend, and OH BOY did that complicate things.

3. How many women do YOU know who are chemists?

4. I am apparently the only person on the planet who doesn't want babies. Ok, I suppose that's a slight exaggeration...I can think of...two other people who don't want kids, and one of them is married to me. I would be totally willing to donate my eggs to help other people have babies, but they won't take them because of #1 (I'm crazy).

5. Something different I do that lights people up...? I really like sharing what I have with other people (unless it's yarn; I'm a total Yarn Scrooge), but I don't think that's that different.

I can't think of anything else. And I don't see how these make me beautiful, but Scott and my mommy think I'm pretty so I suppose that's all that matters.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Reverb 10: Community

December 7 Community

Where have you discovered community, online or otherwise, in 2010? What community would you like to join, create, or more deeply connect with in 2011?

In 2010 I feel like I have found a little niche in the blogging community. I've been blogging for a long time, but for the longest time I had very few followers; it was basically just for me and a few close friends. But this past year a few people started reading what I have to say, and I read what they have to say, and I'm really enjoying it. When I write something and someone leaves a comment, I feel validated, and some days I really need that.

As to 2011, I want to become more involved in the crochet/kniting community, both online and here where I live. I'm on Ravelry, but I don't usually sign on except to check my messages. I need to blog more about the things I make, as well. I have to show off to someone! In my town, I've joined a small crochet group that meets Wednesday nights, and I've missed several weeks (and several weeks were cancelled) due to various reasons, and I want to go more often. It's a lot of fun, and frankly, I need to get out of the house more.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Beans's Knees

Beans (Em) had knee surgery this past Friday, poor thing. Bad knees run in our family, and this was her fourth surgery. I just thought I would share something cute:

According to the surgeon, Em's final words before succumbing to anesthesia were "I am the queen of the universe..."

After she woke up she texted me:

Em: I'm out of surgery.
Me: You're the queen of the universe!
Em: Damn straight.

And then, the other day:

Me: Scott bought me Dexter for Christmas!
Me: I wish.

And, now since I've now posted three things within like half an hour, I'll leave you all alone and get some beauty sleep.

Reverb 10: Make

December 6 Make

What was the last thing you made? What materials did you use? Is there something you want to make, but you need to clear some time for it?

HA. Easiest question EVER.

Um, yes, I have in fact made something recently; something I enjoyed making so much that I'm making more of it and expanding the fun! I'm talking about the blanket for Mim, of course!

I love making this blanket. It's made of 17 different colors of simple fingering-weight wool yarn (Knitpicks Palette, to be specific). It's taking me hours and hours and I am loving every minute of it. In fact, I'm thinking of new color schemes to make the blanket again for me when I'm finished!

As to there being something I want to make, there is something...not something specific, but something I'd like to learn: cooking food. Edible food, that is. I'm experimenting currently with my crockpot. This past week I made a really good pork roast, which unfortunately didn't reheat well. It was very good, though, and I have pre-made spice mixes to thank for it! Really, I don't care if it's cheating. I'll use anything to help myself with this goal.

Reverb 10: Let Go

I'm a total slacker. I let this one go. Not one week into December and I've already slacked off.

But, in my own defense, I did read the prompt yesterday and immediately thought of two things that I could talk about, but I wasn't sure if I wanted to go there for all the internet to see, so I decided I would answer it today, after I'd given it some thought. And, oh look, I thought of something else that I don't mind sharing with my little corner of the world.

December 5 Let Go

What (or whom) did you let go of this year? Why?

This year I let go of a lot of my anger regarding the things that have happened in my family in the past few years. I let go of a lot of my anger; that is to say, not all of it (that's gonna take a while).

So much has happened...and even though it happens time and again, when something happens to us we, as humans, are angry and can't even imagine that the anger will ever fade. It feels too real, too fresh, too biting. And that's okay. We're all human. The wonderful thing is, time heals wounds. It always has, no matter how deep.

So I let go of a lot of my anger regarding things Jason did, regarding the way life was at home growing up, regarding how unfair it sometimes seems that I'm the one stuck with this shortcoming or that illness or whatever it might be that's causing me to mope and feel sorry for myself. It didn't all go at just kinda faded.

I mean, of course there are still times when I remember something specific and feel hurt all over again, which leads to anger, but each time this happens it's a little less intense, and I find myself calming down more quickly. I also find myself trying very hard to put myself in the shoes of whoever it is I'm angry with. I remember something someone did or said to me, and I try to think about what he or she must have been thinking or feeling, and I try to cut people some slack. I don't know what it's like to be somebody else, but I think about times when I've done or said something hurtful and nine times out of ten I really didn't mean it or maybe it was a complete accident and if it happens to me, I'm sure it happens to other people. I'm really trying to give others the benefit of the doubt.

Anyway. It's a work in progress, far from being finished. I'm sure it'll take years for everything to settle completely and for me to be able to move on, but I did a lot of moving on this past year. You should try it sometime. It's refreshing.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Reverb 10: Wonder

December 4 Wonder

How did you cultivate a sense of wonder in your life this year?

I don't know if I cultivated it, per se, but I can tell you about a moment I experienced some pretty awesome wonder. Is that cheating? Maybe. That's too bad.

I watched poor Kwiddens go through nine ridiculous months of pregnancy. I listened to her when she complained about her ankles, or her vision getting blurry, or her belly being so huge she couldn't reach to shave her legs in the shower, or any one of a myriad of other pregnancy-related woes.

I had never personally been at the hospital with someone who was having a baby. Whenever Mim was having a baby someone came over to babysit us, and we just waited at home until Mim and New Baby came home from the hospital. Kwiddens was the first in our family to get babied, so it was a whole new experience being at the hospital with her. She was stoned out of her mind, mind you, but I was so impressed and proud of her. I mean, seriously, I don't think I would be able to push a giant baby out of a tiny little place...sorry to be crude. It's just one more reason for me NOT to get pregnant.


When she was done and the baby was out and clean (thankfully!) I was blown away by how beautiful she was. I mean it: she came out perfect. And it got me thinking: frankly, the odds of someone getting pregnant are astronomically bad. Think about it. The woman has to be at the exact right time in the cycle. The man has to have...stuff...that's mature enough to be effective. Then, you know, the dirty stuff happens, and then the two have to get together very soon or else nothing will happen. Then, thousands of little guys have to fight over one little egg, if they can even find it, and then maybe, just maybe, it works. THEN, it has to successfully implant, and that doesn't always work. The odds are ridiculous. The fact that a baby gets made is an absolute miracle, statistically, and then the fact that the baby, this beautiful, amazing baby, arrived safe and in perfect health, well, the word is WOW.

I held her and she just snuggled right into my shoulder, and I felt...amazing.

And THAT, my friends, is a moment of wonder.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Reverb 10: Moment

December 3 Moment

Pick one moment during which you felt most alive this year. Describe it in vivid detail (texture, smells, voices, noises, colors).

Wow. What a question. How do I even begin to answer this? How many moments this year did I feel alive? Hundreds? Thousands? Who knows.

I can think of one thing, though. It happens every year.

I feel so alive during the first snow of the season. It's been crisply autumn for a while, and when you walk outside you smell the dying leaves (which are delightfully crunchy), and there's that magical October sort of feeling in the air...and then I smell it: snow. I can smell it before it comes; sometimes I can smell it before it's even visible on the horizon. I can't explain it. I can't even describe it. It smells like...snow. Maybe it's my sixth sense.

I feel alive when I step outside and smell that smell, and feel a little bit of a bite as the wind hits my cheeks, nose, and ears. I feel alive when I feel snowflakes first begin to fall, palms outstretched. I love the way the sunlight turns slightly blue, and the mountains barely show for all the snow, the white and gray blending into the cloudy sky.

Then, I feel alive at dusk when the streetlights and the setting sun reflect off of the crystals and everything sparkles. I feel alive, and I feel like there are still beautiful things in this world, and most importantly, I feel that God loves me and maybe this first snow is just for me, to breathe new life into my body and soul before my world plunges into deep winter, bringing darkness with it.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Reverb 10: Writing

December 2 Writing

What do you do each day that doesn't contribute to your writing - and can you eliminate it?

Well. I don't consider myself a serious writer. I mean, it would be wicked awesome to write a book someday or something...actually, it's something I've always wanted to do. But this blog? It's not supposed to  be professional. It's not even an obligation. So even if something weren't contributing to my writing, I wouldn't be concerned about it.

That being said, I must answer the prompt! So I suppose I have this habit of watching the same TV series over and over again...I suppose that could be stifling creativity as a result of inspiration from new material. In my own defense, however, I am knitting or crocheting while I watch the shows, so it's nicer for me to watch a show I've seen before so I can follow the story without looking at the screen as much. It turns out, I have to look while I crochet. I know there are people that can do it without looking, but I lack that particular skill.

I suppose I could try to work more time into my day to work on writing, but as I said, I'm not really serious about it. Don't get me wrong, I love blogging, but writing more just isn't on my list of goals.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Reverb 10: One Word

December 1 One Word.

Encapsulate the year 2010 in one word. Explain why you’re choosing that word. Now, imagine it’s one year from today, what would you like the word to be that captures 2011 for you?

2010: Tranquility

I choose this word because this year things have been very smooth for me. Well, relatively smooth. I haven't had to worry much about finances or major health issues or unexpected, negative sorts of things. I've kept up on my meds and I've felt very calm and peaceful 99% of the time. I've also come to a good spiritual balance, where I've more or less decided what I believe and I finally feel guiltless about it.

2011: Progress

I hope to make progress in 2011 only on one thing: my eating habits. Oh, and keeping my weight down. So two things. But I think that will be the most challenging thing for me this upcoming year. And I really do feel optimistic that I can keep changing things for the better. I also hope to bring Scott along with me. I love that feeling: hope. I intend to keep it.

A Challenge For December

So...I'm going to attempt this. Attempt, because I am one forgetful person.
Each day in December I'm given a prompt, and each day I'm supposed to respond to it. Fortunately, there are no guidelines on how long my post has to be...which makes it a little easier to keep up with.
It's a challenge.
Let's go!

Text Time 11

Kwiddens: I'm at Wal-Mart and there's a line for the blood pressure machine
Me: Lol random

Kwiddens: You should call my work and tell them there's a family emergency
Me: Ok what kind of an emergency do you want?
Kwiddens: Dad in a car accident or something.
*insert fake, frantic phone call here*
Me: Are you going to be able to come help? Wink, wink, nudge, nudge?
Kwiddens: Yes. THANK YOU
Me: Love you a million!
Kwiddens: Love you more!

Kwiddens: I hate when I have to force myself to stay awake until a decent bed time
Me: I know EXACTLY how you feel

Me: You should really see a doc...
Mim: Been hoping to see a plastic surgeon...romantically. For Valentine's an eyelid lift, for my BDay a tummy tuck...!

Bob: A chemist and a mathemagician/philosopher. This ought to be good. Do you have a large white board yet? I expect a formula that balances out all of life's problems! It should include moles, k, pi, constants, infinitives, reason and purpose. Ready, set, go.