D.O.N.E.

What a week this has been. I either want a do-over or for it to just simply be over.  The whole mess with Facebook and Instagram has about sent me over the edge.  It is so unbelievably FRUSTRATING because I am totally helpless in the matter.  There is NOTHING I can do to fix it, to get back all the contact that they deleted, or rectify the situation because I can only talk to robots, who just give automated and generic answers.  I’m not going to write a whole post on this again, but just know that I am still angry and very FRUSTRATED.  

To add to the disaster that is this week, my oldest has some ear issues.  For some reason her left ear doesn’t work properly.  She always feels like that ear is plugged and can’t hear as well out of that ear.  He ear doesn’t drain properly and it gets a HUGE buildup of wax and has to literally be flushed out by the doctor pretty much every 3 months.  It’s really gross to see what comes out of her ear every time they do it.  In addition to the wax build up, she somehow gets swimmer’s ear constantly even though she hasn’t been swimming in months.  I know this is gross, but I can actually see the crazy amount of puss that is in her ear right now.  It’s disgusting.  (I actually have a picture of it but she has forbidden me to share it. LOL) Her doctor has finally decided that none of this is normal and that she should see an ENT. I tried calling them yesterday to make an appointment because her doctor wants them to see her ear while it is infected, but I kept getting put on hold forever only to have to leave a message. No one ever called me back. Again, I am FRUSTRATED. 

We are in the process of painting the kitchen cabinets in our new house because I hated the wood color that they were originally, and it really wasn’t going to look good with the new, darker floor. Anyway, my husband sent me to the store on Tuesday to get a gallon of the paint in the color/finish I wanted because he was almost done with priming. I get there and the lady doesn’t really seem to know what she is doing and tells me that she can’t find the paint. Okay, whatever, I’ll come back. I went back yesterday and there was a guy there.  He actually seemed to know what he was doing and tells me, “No problem.” A few minutes later he comes back and tells me that don’t have the paint.  Are you kidding me? He says they only have it in these really small cans.  FRUSTRATION is setting in yet again.  Now I have to choose a different finish.  All I wanted was white, satin-finish paint, the most basic of all!  Now I have to settle for white semi-gloss paint.  It’s fine!  I can live with it, but it’s not what I really wanted.  We are really trying to get it all done before the floor guys come in on Monday to start refinishing the hardwood.  There really isn’t time to go somewhere else to find the paint I want.  We don’t want to take any chances in spilling oil-based paint on the new floors, so it needs to be done now.  

Today I am supposed to be at the new house again while some different floor people come to measure the room in the basement that will be my office.  Of course they give us a timeframe of 8:00-5:00.  How FRUSTRATING is that? Why do service people do that? They know their schedule, they can certainly give us a shorter window than 9 hours! No one has time to sit and wait for that long.  I certainly don’t. Well, it is 8:10 and I am not there.  It is POURING outside!  My daughter usually walks to school, but my mama heart will not let me leave and force her to walk in the rain.  She doesn’t have to be at school until 9:00, so I am just praying that they don’t show up at the house before I can get there or that they will at least call me when they are on the way.  

There have been a lot of other little things (changes to an order, a party not going as well as planned, practice going over by 20 minutes when I have other stuff to do and it’s already late, a missing order, a friend sharing some tough news, etc.) that have FRUSTRATED me this week as well, but I want go into all of those details for your sake.  The actual definition of the word frustration is “the feeling of being upset or annoyed, especially because of the inability to change or achieve something.” I think that is exactly what has me feeling down…the inability to change any of it. I’m a fixer.  I like to fix things and get them done, but I can’t seem to fix anything this week.  I hate uncertainty. I hate the unknown. I know it all may seem small to you, but added all together, it has me wanting to just erase this week and for it to be over. I don’t think the dreary, rainy day is helping either. I apologize for another downer post. It has just been one of those weeks.  I told you all I was always going to be honest and this is reality for me this week. It sucks! Sometimes these kinds of weeks just happen.  It happens to us all.  If it doesn’t, you aren’t human! I said on Tuesday that I was trying to smile through it.  Well, I will admit that I was trying (I AM trying), but I am not succeeding.  I’m just done.  D.O.N.E.  There is no other word for it. Let me just go to bed, wake up in the morning, and everything be back to normal.  Please? Is that too much to ask?

Anchored, Frustrated, and DONE,

Sense of Smell

Today’s post is going to be totally random! LOL! Sorry! I want to talk about the sense of smell. Some people who are visually impaired would say that they have a heightened sense of hearing because they are forced to zoom in on that.  Children with autism sometimes have heightened senses that cause sensory overload. You hear about things like this all of the time.  I on the other hand seem to have a heightened sense of smell, but I have no reason to or anything to force me to zoom in on that sense.  I think this has been the case for most of my life.  I guess you could also call it a sensitive nose, meaning a lot of smells bother me. I smell things that other people don’t smell. It’s weird.  I will tell my husband for days that something smells in the refrigerator, but that I can’t figure out what it is.   I make him smell it repeatedly, and he always says that he never smells anything. Sometimes, I will be cooking some ground turkey or something like that and it will smell weird to me.  I immediately will stop cooking it and throw it out because I think it is bad even when my family will tell me that it smells like it normally does.  I think that my husband thinks I am nuts sometimes because I am constantly asking him to smell things or asking him if he smells something.  Smells also trigger my migraines.  For years, I was not able to wear any kind of perfume because the smell would give me a migraine.  I finally found one that I can tolerate.  If I am in the car with anyone that has on perfume that is strong smelling, I get carsick. I was even late to the essential oil game because I was too afraid that the smells would bother me.  Now I use them all the time, but I have learned which oils that I have to avoid and which ones I can use in only small doses.  It’s really weird. 

Check out my new blue-light blocking glasses from Amazon!

I started thinking about all of this yesterday because I was having a particularly sensitive smell day. I ordered some blue-light blocking glasses (Amazon) because I am on my computer all day long, and I think it is contributing to my migraines.  Yes, everything gives me a migraine! Anyway, they arrived yesterday, and I put them on. I couldn’t even wear them for a full minute because they had this ridiculously bad smell to them.  I decided to let them air out for a while hoping that the smell would go away, but after a couple of hours, it was still there.  As soon as my husband got home, he put them on and said he didn’t smell anything! I don’t know how because it was so strong to me.  Maybe he has the opposite of me and has a damaged sense of smell! I eventually tried cleaning them with soap and water and that seemed to get rid of the smell! Thankfully, I am able to wear them today. 

Hat (Amazon), Scarf (similar Amazon), Jacket (Amazon)

The second smell issue yesterday happened at my daughter’s school.  In the afternoons, parents have to park at a lot across the street from the school and then stand outside at one of the doors to the building and wait for them to be released. Yesterday, when I picked her up, there was a wind chill of 20 degrees so it was really cold standing out there. That didn’t bother me nearly as much as the horrible smell.  It was clear to me that a skunk had been around the school somewhere and had sprayed because there was a very strong skunk smell.  It was so strong that it was making my eyes water (trust me, it was from the skunk smell and not the cold)! No one around me seemed to be bothered by it, though.  No one even commented on it anywhere around me.  Maybe I am nuts.  Maybe there wasn’t a skunk.  I sure smelled one, though! I kept burying my nose in my scarf so that I couldn’t smell it. 

Then the third incident occurred that evening when my husband and I were headed out for our weekly Wednesday date night.  We were in his car on the way to a restaurant.  He likes to blast the heat as soon as we get in the car.  He turns the temperature to like 80 so it starts blasting in your face.  It drives me nuts, but he has always done this.  Anyway, the heat was blasting, and I started feeling like I was suffocating. The air was so thick and hot, but it also had this weird burning plastic smell to me.  It was like the heat and smell were taking my breath away. Of course he couldn’t smell anything so I again looked crazy.  

Things like this happen to me all the time.  I don’ t understand it. Why is my sense of smell so strong? Is it all in my head like my husband thinks? Maybe?  I don’t know. I just know that I smell things that don’t smell good to me and they trigger a migraine.  I don’t know if there is some correlation to smell and migraines or what. By the end of the day yesterday, my head was definitely hurting. Does anyone else have a sense that is exaggerated? Tell me I am not crazy and other people feel this way too. 

Ok, before I hit publish on this post, I looked up “heightened sense of smell.” You guys!!!! There is something called hyperosmia that is defined as a “heightened and hypersensitive sense of smell.” According to healthline.com, “People with hyperosmia can experience strong discomfort and even illness from certain smells.” It goes on to say that it is sometimes caused by migraines.  OMG! I just self-diagnosed myself with something else! Don’t you love Dr. Google? Haha! Maybe I’m not crazy! Or maybe I am!

Anchored and Rambling,

Ahhhhh!!!!

It is really hard to believe that tomorrow will be March. The year 2019 is really flying by.  Maybe it is because we have been so incredibly busy. We have traveled for 6 out of 8 of the first 8 weeks of this year and there is no end in sight.  Competition season is brutal especially now that both girls are competing in 2 different sports at the exact same time. Don’t get me wrong, I love watching them both do what the love and brings them joy, but it’s exhausting! We have had 12 competitions between the two of them in 8 weeks! That’s insane! In addition to that, we’ve had so many other things going on.  We closed on our new house. I launched my business with Trades of Hope. We got the rental house ready to show, and two of us had the flu! No wonder I am “mama tired!” Whew!

Speaking of the rental. It went up for rent yesterday around noon.  We had the first showing at 6:00 last night, which sent me into a cleaning frenzy because I still had the playroom a mess from my purge, dishes in the sink, and laundry everywhere. Then, the agent came by this morning to change out the lock box on the door because it had an issue, and she told me that there is already an application in from last night and there are two more showings tonight.  She gave me hope that we will be done with showings after tonight! That is HUGE for two reasons! One, we don’t have to keep the house spotless anymore so I can continue my pre-move purge.  Two, we can get out of our lease early so we don’t have to pay rent and our mortgage at the same time! I am jumping with joy! That will be an enormous relief! 

March is going to be a busy and exciting month as well.  We take possession of our new house on the 13th.  Then I have Closet America coming the next day to put together my new closet as well as some guys to come give us an estimate on refinishing the hardwood floors and staining them a darker color.  Once all of that is done, we can start the moving process.  That means I have 3-4 weeks left to get everything purged and life simplified! I’m not sure I will get it all done, but I am really going to try! I am so ready to move and to finally be settled here.  I would totally move tomorrow if we could. The only thing I am dreading, though, is that we are totally on our own this time. We have never had to do a move ourselves.  The Navy has always packed and moved us.  Thankfully, we have a good month and a half to get out of the rental so we can take our time.  It is really going to stink, though, as we do the transition to have some stuff here and some stuff there.  I wish I could wave a magic wand and it will all be done!

Well, I guess that is all of the random-ness that I have to share with all of you today. Unfortunately for you, my brain is running 90 miles a minute, and I am all over the place.  I am actually doing three things at once as I try to type this out. I currently have 7 tabs open on my computer doing a million different things, and I feel like my brain has 7 more tabs open in there somewhere. Will life ever slow down? Does that happen? Honestly, I am not sure that it is in my nature to slow down.  I’m not sure how I would like not having a million things to do. It has been that way my whole life. My mom is the same way. Both of her daughters have long been gone, yet she is still just as busy as I am.  Maybe it is just something in our genes.  I don’t know.  I just don’t know any other way to be. I take on too many things at once. I can’t say no. I think I strive on stress, though.  It doesn’t make sense, but I do it anyway. Sometimes I want to scream like right now when I cannot focus on one thing at a time.  Other times I can just go with the flow and plow through it. Life is crazy and I have just come to except that fact.  One day I will slow down and just be still.  One day…

Anchored,

Whirlwind Travel

What a crazy day I am going to have today and tomorrow! My kids are out of school AGAIN today so that’s always fun! No, really, I am kidding. I barely even saw my kids yesterday. They stayed locked up in their rooms or in the basement for the majority of the day. They only came out when I forced them to come and eat lunch.  If I don’t tell my kids to eat, neither of them will.  I’m not kidding.  They don’t realize on their own that it is lunchtime and that they should eat.  How is that possible? They will be home alone while I’m out doing something.  When I get home I will ask my youngest what she had for lunch (you know I have to keep track of what she eats) and she will say that she hasn’t eaten anything.  When I ask her why, she literally says to me, ”You never told me to.” Are you serious? She’s 11 years old.  Isn’t that old enough to know that you need to eat lunch? The sad thing is that my almost 15 year old is exactly the same, and they both do this ALL THE TIME. Does anyone else have kids that do the same thing? Tell me I’m not the only parent whose kids don’t know when they should eat. It’s insane!

Sorry for the side track there! My days are going to be crazy because my oldest and I are flying to Florida today for a gymnastics meet in the morning and then are flying back home as soon as it is over tomorrow afternoon.  On top of all that, I am fighting a mild case of the flu! Fun for me! It’s really the weirdest flu ever. I had the aches, chills, and fever for less than 24 hours and then have just had a cough (no congestion/sinus issues) and a scratchy throat since. I actually feel fine other than being a little tired and the tight throat, but my voice is all jacked up so I sound like I have the plague. I don’t know if it was because I had a flu shot or that I got Tamiflu the day I got sick or a combination of the two, but this is certainly the mildest and strangest flu I have ever had. 

Because we are only going to Florida for less than 24 hours, we are planning to just take a carry on bag. Now, those of you that know me personally know that I do not pack lightly.  In fact, I pack insanely.  I usually have at least 3 small bags or a giant suitcase that I can barely lift when I travel.  You can imagine that it is difficult for me to pack my daughter and me both into one carry-on bag.  I am very proud to say that I did it.  I am not even taking my hairdryer! <gasp> I know! It was hard, but I have still been sticking to not washing my hair everyday, so I don’t need it.  I am going on 5 months of washing my hair every 3-4 days! I washed and dried it this morning so that I wouldn’t have to wash it tomorrow.  That cuts out shampoo, conditioner, and other products I use when I wash my hair. I only packed one outfit, which was very hard for me.  I typically pack one outfit for every day I will be gone plus at least 1 (sometimes 2) extra outfit. That is all huge for me! The only thing that I am concerned about is the darn liquid rule! I NEED my R+F products and so does my daughter!  Thankfully, I have a travel size that we can share, but the major issue is that I need mousse for her hair for the competition, and I cannot find a travel size of that anywhere! She has so many short baby hairs that fly all over the place and curl up when she is hot that have to be slicked down for competition, and there is a certain kind of mousse that is the only thing that works. I guess we may be “Ubering” to a store when we get there tonight to get some and then throw it away for the trip back.  It’s such a waste! I am heading out in a few to brave the icy roads to look in a couple more places, but my hopes aren’t very high. Wish me luck! Other than that, I think I managed to get all of the other liquids between us into one quart bag each.  I really am proud of myself for getting everything we need into one small suit case. Of course, she will also carry on her backpack with all of her stuff, and I will be carrying my favorite Trades of Hope bag (see below) with my computer and stuff as my purse. With the blog and my small businesses, I really need my laptop with me all the time. Thankfully, it is a small, compact laptop.  I am dreading going through the airport security already.  Having to pull out my laptop, bag of liquid, shoes, and everything else should be interesting.  When my daughter flew to Texas with my husband a couple of weeks ago, security patted her down and she was super uncomfortable with it. I hope that doesn’t happen to either of us this time. I love going to places and we travel a lot in this family, but I really don’t like the actual act of traveling.  I wish I could just blink my eyes and be there in an instant. The packing, the security, the stuffy plane full of germs, the motion sickness, the cramped seats, trying to find the right gate…all of that is just not fun for me. Unfortunately, that all comes with it and we are stuck doing it today and tomorrow. 

Well, that is about all that I have going on here for the next two days. I am going to try really hard to write my post for tomorrow about our February Book Club book, Left Neglect, because I really can’t wait to share my thoughts on it with you. It really stirred some things in me and made me think. Hopefully, I will have time to get it done. Until then…

Anchored and Rambling,


To Celebrate or Not Celebrate?

Happy Valentine’s Day! I don’t know about you, but the older I get, the less emphasis that I put on days like today.  Honestly, though, my husband and I never really put much emphasis on any holiday for us (Christmas, birthdays, Valentine’s Day, etc.).  Of course we do for our kids, but we just don’t for us as a couple. I got both of the girls a heart-shaped box of Reese’s Cups with a little bear attached for today, but my husband and I don’t do anything for each other. I know some people will think that is wrong, but it works for us.  Neither of us likes attention. Neither of us would really care about a box of chocolates or flowers or extravagant gifts.  Typically, we will do a card for birthdays, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and anniversaries; but that’s really it.  We really don’t buy each other gifts ever.  We never really have, and we are both totally ok with it.  Back when we were first married, we would pick a big item that we needed or wanted and that would be our Christmas gift to each other. Now we really don’t even do that.  He used to send me flowers when we were first married too, but I really am not a huge flower person. Flowers with strong smells give me migraines anyway. We are both the type of people that if there is something we want, we just get it for ourselves, or I will tell him that I want something and he will order it on Amazon or something that day. We don’t really save it for a holiday. Again, I know some of you think that we should celebrate each other on those days, but I don’t think we really need a holiday to do that.  We now try to go on a date night every Wednesday when both girls are at practice, which is something we haven’t done in many years.   We have actually only missed like 3 or 4 days since we moved when he had to travel for work.  We have been pretty consistent with it, and I am proud of that. We just go out to dinner. We don’t stay out late, and we don’t do anything fancy, In fact, we typically go to one of 2 or 3 local places, but we really enjoy that time with each other. It is the time when we can really sit down and talk about life and stuff and just be together.    I really look forward to it each week, and I am pretty sure that he does too. It has been really good for us to reconnect with each other now that he is here and present all the time.  

I think that maybe we also don’t celebrate holidays partly because there have been so many holidays when we have been apart while he was deployed.  Not getting to celebrate them together just forced us to not really care about those things because it was too depressing otherwise. We learned to celebrate being together any chance we got.  Being a military family forces you to see what is really important in life, and that is time together.  It isn’t flowers or gifts of jewelry or chocolate.  We really value time, time with each other, and time together as a family. Truly being present physically, mentally, and emotionally. I don’t need a holiday to tell my husband that I love and appreciate him. He knows, and the reverse is true too. I know. We tell each other that all the time. I don’t need a card or a gift.  I don’t need a fancy dinner at an expensive restaurant. I just need time.  We have longed for it for so long and now that we finally get it, we couldn’t be happier.  Just being together, being present, sharing the load, being a shoulder to cry on or an ear to listen is really all we both desire and need. I’m not sure that you can really understand what I mean by all of that unless you have lived the military life and carried that burden of being separated.  

The age-old question is whether or not we should celebrate these days? I say to each their own.  If that is something you need to feel loved and appreciated and maybe a little spoiled, then I am all for you celebrating. We all want those things every now and then.  It’s just how we receive them is different.  It kind of goes back to The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman (Amazon)…receiving gifts, quality time, words of affirmation, acts of service/devotion, and physical touch. Everyone should know what their love language is and what their partner’s is. For my husband and me, it’s not gifts, or words of affirmation. Physical touch isn’t even really big for either of us.  Maybe you could say that acts of service/devotion is our secondary love language for both of us, but our primary love language really is quality time.  We are the same.  Again, all of those things are nice, but we just don’t NEED them.   We know this about each other and we are fine with it. We are happy.  I think we will continue to not celebrate these days.  It’s just who we are and there is nothing wrong with it, just like there is nothing wrong with celebrating.  You do you and we will do us. It’s that simple.

On a totally side note, how cute are these Valentines I made for my daughter’s class? I got the idea from Maggie over at Smashed Peas and Carrots. I just recreated it with my own fonts, but she has a free printable if you want for the future. The little slime hearts came from the Dollar Spot at Target, and I was googling what to do with them and came across Maggie’s post and thought it was perfect. You know me…I can’t just buy Valentines. I have to make them! EVERY. SINGLE. YEAR!

Anyway, I wish you all the best Valentine’s Day however you choose to or not to celebrate it!

Anchored in Love,

Medicine & Kids Don’t Mix

My sister called me this morning to see if I could talk my nephew into taking his medicine. He has the flu and is very sick but won’t take the medicine.  I just talked to her again and she said she had to wrestle him down and force it in him, but then he spit it everywhere. It reminded me of all the times that I had to literally sit on my youngest pinning her arms beside her to slowly inject the medicine into her mouth with a syringe.   She would gag, spit, scream, cry, and make herself so upset that she would throw the medicine right back up.  There was one time just after she was first diagnosed with Eosinaphillic Esophagitis that was so horrible that I was crying too. I was attempting to give her a new med.  I was literally sitting on top of her trying to get it in her mouth, and she worked herself up so bad that she actually threw up blood.  Of course that freaked me out and I just lost it.  I decided then that there had to be a different way. I could not continue to do that to her every day.  It was too traumatizing for both of us.  Her food therapist and I were also concerned that if I continued to have to force it in her, it was going to make her reject food even more.  We couldn’t let that happen. I had to make the difficult decision to not give it to her anymore.  I called the doctor and told him that he had to find another med or something instead of what we were doing.  I knew that she had to have the medicine or her esophagus would get much worse, but I just couldn’t do it.  Thankfully her amazing doctor had another thing to try, which turned out to be great and what she still uses today.

Trying to give liquid medicine to a child who has severe oral aversions is nearly impossible, but I know that it can be difficult to give any young child medicine especially when they are not feeling well to begin with.  Let’s face it, most liquid medicines are disgusting, and their little brains cannot comprehend the fact that the medicine will make them feel better no matter how many times you say it.  You would think with all of the advancements and research in medications, they would be able to come up with something to make them taste better.  I know that you can get flavor added to some medications for kids, but those options were never available for the types of medicines my daughter had to take. Honestly, those flavors often don’t really make it taste a whole lot better anyway.

I see moms posting on Facebook and Instagram all the time asking advice on how to get their child to take their medicine.  I did it myself back in the day and am reminded of it every single year when it pops up in my Facebook memories. I think I have tried every single trick that is out there with my daughter.  She has taken at least 4-5 medications a day since she was 4 years old, and she will be 11 in 2 days. That’s a long time and a lot of medicine. None of those tricks ever really worked for us, though. We tried everything like hiding it in the one food that she would actually eat (applesauce), and that just made her refuse to eat applesauce, which was life threatening for her.  I tried bribery, sitting on her, holding her nose so she had to open her mouth, blowing in her face to make her swallow, and even rubbing her throat to get her to swallow.  I know some of those sound horrible (Trust me, they were!), but when you are desperate to get medicine in your child because her survival depends on it, you are willing to do just about anything.  We, as parents, sometimes have to do whatever it takes. Thankfully now, my daughter is able to swallow pills, but even trying to get her to do that a few years ago was very difficult.  It never failed that when it was time to introduce a new medicine, my husband would be deployed and I had to bare the burden alone.  Those were some really tough days that are forever burned in my memory.  I honestly think that those rough days and me being the one that had to force it are part of the reason why she has had so much anger towards me over the years.  I was the bad guy. Sometimes moms have to be the bad guy.  We have no choice.  It is certainly not easy, but you have to do what you have to do.  Right, moms? Sometimes it really sucks, but it all comes with being a parent.  We just have to strap in and brave the bumpy ride. Just know that it will get better. My child is proof of that.  There is a light at the end of the tunnel, I promise! 

Anchored,

Dreaming of a New House

What a crazy week this has been! Monday was our normal busy day. Tuesday, my kids had a 2-hour early release from school, and it started snowing pretty much the second my oldest got home.  We only got about 2 inches of snow this time, but was enough that they were out of school on Wednesday.  Then despite the majority of the roads being totally fine, they are out again today for the extremely cold temps. It is currently a balmy 12 degrees with a wind chill of 5 degrees but was even colder earlier this morning!  You all know that I love the cold weather, but what I don’t like is the crazy wind with the cold weather that we have been having the last couple of days.  I swear that the winds were so strong yesterday that it sounded like things were flying through the air hitting my house. If I didn’t know better, I would think it was a hurricane out there. As I was driving my daughter to practice yesterday (no snow days from gymnastics and cheer), it looked like there were mini snow tornados spinning in the air from the wind.  After I dropped her off, I went to the post office to mail a few things, and it felt like the wind was going to knock me over as I walked from my car to the door. It was so crazy! 

I did enjoy sleeping in the last two mornings, though.  For some reason I have been staying up pretty late each night this week which is very unlike me.  It’s almost like I have been getting a second wind around 9:00.  The good news is that I have gotten a lot of work done between the hours of 9 PM and 12 AM, but I really hope that this isn’t a new trend because I won’t be able to sleep in once they are back at school. I have got to make myself go to bed earlier tonight.

We close on our new house tomorrow, which is very exciting.  I only wish that we were moving into it tomorrow as well.  The current owners are going to be renting it back from us for a couple of months as they are in the process of buying a new house, and we couldn’t get out of the lease at our current house this early.  I am so ready to move so we can finally be settled! One thing I am super excited about is my closet! You guys know that my closet is probably the most important room in the house to me.  If you remember from a post a while back, having his and hers closets was a huge priority on our (mainly mine) must have list.  The new house does have the two closets, but mine is not big enough for me.  Luckily there is a small sitting room right off of the master bedroom kind of tucked away in a corner just past the current 2 closets.  We will be turning that little room into my closet.  We have someone coming out to the house on Saturday morning to design it!!! I am so freaking excited! It is going to be amazing! I cannot wait to see what they come up with based on my needs and desires! My very own closet designed specifically for me is like a dream come true! I will definitely keep you all up to date on the progress.  

There are a few other improvements that we (I) have in mind for the house as well.  Of course there is no way that we can do them all right away. I have resigned myself to the fact that I am going to have to wait. I had to choose what my priorities were in relation to renovations and my closet wins every single time! The other project that we will be doing fairly quickly is the floors, and I am pretty excited about that too.  There is a huge spot on the hardwood in the sunroom that is messed up so the floor in there has to be refinished.  We have decided, though, that since we have to do that, we might as well stain all the hardwood throughout the main level of the house to the color that we want. They are currently stained a light shade and we both prefer a darker wood. It’s going to look amazing.  We are hoping to have the closet and floors done before we move in.  One of the projects that has been pushed to the back is the kitchen.  I absolutely hate the countertops.  They are an ugly grey granite that is just not my style at all. The picture doesn’t really show the exact shade of grey. Eventually I would like to paint or stain the cabinets, add a different backsplash, and replace the countertops. Unfortunately, it will be a while before we can do that, though. Another project is the fireplace.  It currently has green marble tile around it that I also hate and totally clashes with my stuff. It also has some gold trim that I am not fond of. I feel like that is an easy fix and am trying to convince my husband that he can probably redo it himself. He’s not convinced, though.  The final project is another one that I am super excited about…my office.  I have never had my own office.  Our office has always really been my husband’s office and trophy room for all his Navy paraphernalia, and I have always had to keep all of my crafting stuff in the guest room and my work stuff spread throughout the house.  In the new house, there is a huge room in the basement that is the current owner’s woodworking shop.  Our plan is to turn that room into my office/craft room.  I will be starting with a completely blank slate and my ideas are running rampant in my brain.  I’m picturing built-ins with tons of storage, a desk, a worktable, and a cute little Anchored Piece by Piece sign on the wall.  It is going to be amazing.  Of course, that is not going to all happen right away either, but I cannot wait!  

Buying a home is always scary, but I love moving into a new house and getting to decorate it and set up with all my things.  For the next few months I will continue to daydream about where I am going to put everything and all the changes that are on my wish list.  My Pinterest boards are exploding with ideas. It’s like a new beginning each time we move into a new house.  It’s scary and exciting all wrapped into one.  I. CANNOT. WAIT!

Anchored and Dreaming,

Unicorn Armpits

My brain isn’t working too well this morning so who knows where this post will end up.  My daughter had a high school gymnastics meet last night and we didn’t get home until 11:00. Of course, by the time I got in the bed I was wide-awake and couldn’t fall asleep.  Remember how I told you last week that I am one of those people that requires at least 8 hours of sleep??? Ugh! Let’s just say that I may or may not be a little grumpy today.  It is rainy and gloomy here this morning too, which doesn’t help the mood at all.  I think a nap may be on the agenda today.  Who am I kidding, though? I will not take a nap.  I very rarely take naps.  I’ve never been one of those people that can nap.  I can never fall asleep unless I am in the car.  Something about riding in the car makes me sleepy. Maybe it is my coping mechanism to keep from getting carsick.  I don’t know? The point is, I’m not running on all cylinders this morning.

Image grabbed from Pinterest

Changing the subject, let’s talk about something I heard on the radio this morning.  They were talking about this new trend for women during the month of January.  You know how men have No Shave November? Well, apparently there is now something called Jan-u-hairy for women.  Ok, whatever, I get it.  I hate shaving just as much as every other woman on the planet.  I will admit that I do not shave my legs as often as I should in the cold weather months, but I do shave my armpits regularly.  I personally couldn’t go a whole month without shaving, but to each their own. If you don’t want to shave at all, that’s your right. More power to you! The thing is that, according to the radio, some women are taking it a step further.  They are creating what they are calling “Unicorn Hair.” Apparently, women are letting their armpit hair grow long enough that they can dye it rainbow colors. They said it was supposed to represent women empowerment. According to dictionary.com, the word empowerment means “to give power or authority to; the enable or permit.”  I get how not shaving could kind of be a symbol of women empowerment with the whole let’s get past the stereotypically male vs. female roles and gender norms, but dying your armpit hair to look like a rainbow? I’m not sure that really sends the message of empowerment. Don’t get me wrong, it is 100% your right to do whatever you want to with your own body. If you feel like dying your armpit hair, your leg hair, or any other hair on your body, go for it. Just don’t say you are doing it to empower women. If you really want to empower women, you have to do more than that. There are so many other things that you can do that will actually empower women, but you have to be willing to do it and you have to take action. I told you the other day that I feel like one of my new callings is to help empower women across the globe to be the best versions of themselves. Let’s do something to support the women who are in abusive settings, women struggling financially, women who have lost all hope, women across the world in crisis, young girls caught up in human trafficking, women who can’t get a job in a male dominated business.  Help to give those women authority over their lives and the ability to get out of whatever situation they are in.  Volunteer. Donate to women’s shelters. Support small businesses run by women.  Be a role model to young girls.  Stop bashing other women.  Support each other.  Encourage other women to reach for their dreams, not give up, and step out of their comfort zone. There is so much you can do. Instead of banding together to dye our armpits, let’s band together and do something that will actually make a difference in the lives of other women.  That’s how you really empower women. 

Anchored and Empowered,

Snow Day

Let’s talk about snow days, and by that I mean snow days off from school.  That is what’s on my mind as the ground is covered in snow here. My kids were out of school on Monday and had two-hour delays Tuesday and Wednesday. Today is the first day back to normal. I would say that there has been sort of an evolution of my feelings about snow days. When I was a kid, I was jealous of other kids who got snow days. I am from the South and there was no such thing as snow days there.  It was like a distant dream to have a snow day. Then when I became an adult and moved farther north, I loved snow days.  As a teacher, you long for them just as much as the kids do.  Teaching is exhausting and you are always behind.  It is a never-ending cycle of trying to catch up, so snow days were always a time to rest and a time to catch up on stuff that you were behind on.  I loved it when the roads were ok to drive on and we were allowed to go in to the school if we wanted and do work.  It was so amazing to work in a quite building with no one to disturb you. Now that I am no longer teaching, my feelings about snow days have shifted once again.  I sort of have a love/hate relationship with snow days now.  I love the snow. I love the cold weather. I think snow is beautiful.  I love that my kids get some time off to just be a kid and be at home because that is so rare with their practice schedules. The thing is that I also hate how it messes up my daily schedule. I hate how my routine is disrupted when my kids are home.  You all know that I like routines and schedules and when that gets messed up, it just throws me off.  I get distracted and things don’t get done. I am so happy to be back on schedule today.

Now, the real thing I want to talk about in regards to snow days is how so many people get super upset about the school system’s decision to open or not open school or to delay or not delay school.  It is crazy to me how many people go on a rant on social media about it all. I have seen it in every place I have lived.  It’s like no matter what decision the schools make, there is a group that is unhappy and gets up in arms about it.  If the school closes, there are those that are mad and think that it was a wasted day. In their opinion the road are “fine.” Well, guess what? I bet you that they haven’t driven to every single corner of the city/county to really see that ALL roads are fine. I bet that they don’t know how many teachers drive from another city/county where the roads may be even worse.  Wouldn’t you rather be safe than sorry? Then there are those that get mad that the school system didn’t close.  They think they are putting the students’ lives at risk by opening.  Let me tell you a secret. If you think that it is too dangerous for your child to go to school, you can keep them home.  If you write a note to your child’s teacher explaining why they missed school, it will be excused. What is more important, the safety of your child or one day of school? Use common sense people!

I can assure you that the powers that be are not making decisions just to make your life miserable.  I can promise you that they are trying to make the best decisions they can with the information that they have.  Do they make mistakes? Sure they do! Weather is unpredictable. Even with the best information out there, the weather can change.  Meteorologists can be wrong.  The forecast is just a prediction. A prediction is just a guess. Yes, it is a guess based on scientific evidence but it is still just a guess. Would you want to be the one making the decision that affects the lives of thousands of people knowing that no matter what you do, someone will be upset about it? I sure wouldn’t want that responsibility.  They are taking into account the conditions of all the roads, the conditions of the sidewalks and parking lots, the temperature, whether or not the buses will start, and so much more. A lot goes into the decision to cancel or not cancel school. They really do try to do what is best for everyone.

Let’s all try to make the world a better place.  A great way to start is to stop complaining! Stop going on social media and expressing your distaste and disgust over things that are so insignificant like a snow day. What is the point? Do you really think that your rant is going to change the situation? I am certain that the powers that be in the school system do not look at what you write on social media, so don’t even throw your negativity out there. It just opens the door for everyone else to feed off of your distaste for the situation.  Be kind. Be understanding. Be sympathetic. Let it go.  You make the best decision for your family and your children’s safety. Ultimately, choose joy. Choose to be happy with whatever life throws you. Enjoy the day and whatever it brings.

Anchored, 

Make it Stop!

Have you ever heard of the condition called Misophonia? Many of you probably don’t know it by name but have seen memes or heard people talk about it.  It is a condition that was first named back in 2000 or 2001.  It is basically when you have negative emotions or reactions that are triggered by a specific sound.  A person with Misophonia has an adverse reaction to certain noises. Different people are triggered by different noises.  I have seen videos of people that have been diagnosed with this condition that literally go into a rage when they hear their trigger sound.  They would attack the person making the sound or harm themselves to try to get the noise to stop.  Now , those are the extreme cases and there are likely only a very small number of people that have that crazy of a reaction.  The first time I saw something about this on TV, I honestly didn’t believe it.  I didn’t think that someone could really have that severe of a reaction to a small little noise. Then a few years went by, and I started having reactions to noises out of the blue. I don’t think that I have Misophonia necessarily, but I do have unnatural reactions to chewing and other noises made with the mouth by certain people. I would say that it is more a pet peeve maybe than an actual medical condition, but who knows? You guys know that I love self-diagnosing myself.  I would never tell this to my doctor, though.  LOL! She would think that I really had lost my mind.

It started a few years ago at breakfast when I would sit by my daughter while we ate.  The noise she made while chewing suddenly made my skin crawl. She isn’t a loud chewer and doesn’t smack or chew with her mouth open, but the subtle sound of her chewing would really get to me, and I would have to move away from her.  I could not be near her at all when she was eating.  Of course, I never told her that. I would just come up with an excuse to go do something else or eat in a different location. I kind of thought I was nuts. Then it spread to being triggered by other people chewing. It’s really bad when people are chewing gum around me. Hearing someone smack on gum is like nails on a chalkboard for me. I have had friends of my children in the car with me as they were smacking on gum, and I could barely focus on the road.  It is really hard to describe the way I feel in the moment. It’s almost like my senses zoom in on that noise and it’s all I can hear or think about. You can ask my children and my husband. They know that gum makes me nuts.  

A couple of years ago, there was a lady whose daughter did gymnastics at the same gym as my daughter. She always brought food in with her as many of us did because we sat there for so many hours.  For some reason, I would loose it whenever she would come in with food and would have to get up and leave the gym until she was done. It didn’t happen with other people that ate there.  For some reason, it was just her that I reacted to.  She made this sort of sucking noise when she ate.  It was almost like she was sucking her teeth after each bite.  I literally could not be in the room with her.  One day she came in with a blizzard from Dairy Queen, and I could not take it.  It was worse than ever.  I tried to sit there because my daughter was doing something that I wanted to watch, but I could not focus on what my daughter was doing at all.  All I could focus on was the slurping and sucking noises as the lady ate her ice cream. I had chills up and down my body, and I had to leave.  I just couldn’t do it.  

It’s weird.  Not every person I am around that is chewing triggers the reaction.  It is just certain people and only certain noises.  I don’t know what the difference is.  Maybe it is the pitch or tone.  I really don’t understand it.  It’s also not something that happens every day.  It’s strange. As I have mentioned before, I am a former special education teacher and my specialty was working with kids with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Many of my students made noises all day long.  It could be humming or other strange noises.  It was never quite in my classroom.  People would come in and say they didn’t know how I could stand the noises, but it never bothered me.  Most of the time I didn’t even notice the noises.  It was like I could just tune them out.  That makes the emotion I get from other people chewing all the more weird. Why can’t I just tune out the chewing noises? I just don’t get it. 

The reason I thought about this to write about today was an incident that happened yesterday with my youngest. We were in the car and she was telling me about something and it sounded like she was talking with something in her mouth. I kept asking her over and over what was in her mouth (she has been known to chew on random objects a lot).  She kept telling me that there was nothing in her mouth.  It was like I couldn’t believe her even though she showed me her mouth and I saw there was nothing in there.  The sound was just so different than her normal talking voice and I couldn’t get past it.  Finally after about the 3rdor 4thtime I asked her what was in her mouth, she said she had a lot of saliva in her mouth.  I had to keep telling her to swallow so that her voice would sound more normal and I could focus on what she was actually telling me and not the sound of her voice.  

Only a few people know this about me. Most people wouldn’t be able to tell that I am reacting to something because I just walk away. My friends that know laugh at me and think it’s hilarious to see me react to the noises.   I guess it is kind of comical to think about, and I have to laugh at myself too.  It is real emotion, though. It’s like something flips in my brain when I hear the noise and I can’t control the reaction. I certainly don’t feel the need to attack someone or harm myself.  I just have to remove myself from the situation, and then I am perfectly fine. People that know this about me sometimes get self-conscious about eating around me.  For the majority of the time, though, a person chewing around me doesn’t bother me at all.  There are just certain people that do.  Like I said, I don’t understand it. I can’t pinpoint what makes one person’s noises irritate me and another person’s to not bother me at all. Maybe Misophonia is real and maybe I have it.  Maybe I don’t.  I don’t really think that I do because it doesn’t affect my day to day life and my emotions aren’t so strong that I feel like I can’t function. However, I don’t think it’s normal.  What can I say? I’m just very abnormal all around.  Do any of you have weird things that trigger emotion or reactions from you? Tell me I’m not alone!

Anchored,