Happy New Year 2012

Happy New Year 2012!! I have made it to see a new year and I am thankful for that. This is one of the few times in recent years that I was actually awake when the new year came in. As typical like most, at the beginning of a new year, you start to reflect on what happened in the previous year and what you want to happen in the new year. What usually results in a list of New Year’s Resolutions. Some people are committed to doing them every year while some say they don’t work so they purposely avoid them. Well, I typically set some, but this year I wanted to evaluate how I did with the ones I sent in the beginning of 2011. So, ..I went back to my blog post from January 2011 and here are the things I resolved to do in 2011 and the update on what I actually DID:
  • Reviving a spiritual connection with God to include daily prayer and devotion-Mmmm, I do think I revived my spiritual connection with God but I am nowhere near pleased  about my consistency and fervor that I know I need in this area. But there is progress still being made on this one and I am thankful that I did not go backwards, but in my heart and mind I have a desire to move forward.
  • Practice healthy habits-drinking more water, exercise, better eating choices, and earlier bedtime-Overall, I would say I did a good job with this definitely in terms of my effort and awareness. I lost 25lbs this year and kept it off!! Although my original goal was to lose 40+ lbs, I am so thankful that I did something and maintained it. 
  • Focus on work/life blending-saying no to some work activities or events so that I can spend more time at home-I started in a new role January 25 which was not part of the plan when I did my New Year’s resolutions. So the first few months of the year, the work/life blending was more of a blur than a blend just to get acclimated to the new job. But, later in the year I did get this better under control and things started to blend together definitely more.
  • More intentionally focused time with my husband and children-I would give myself an average grade on this one. I was definitely more aware and tried to purposely plan time in to do this. I often would try to arrange my schedule some days so I could pick up kids early or keep the weekends and extra time free just so we could spend quiet time together at home. I was able to go on a field trip with Lauren’s class to the Alabama Theatre and made it to the annual Thanksgiving dinner at her school.
  • Taking care of me-doing things for me even when I have to say NO to others-YEA!!! I took care of me this year more so than I have in the past. I became more comfortable with saying no to others if it meant that I was taking care of me. Some phone calls I let go to voicemail so I could give my kids focused attention at dinner instead of multitasking dipping food on the kids’ plates while a phone is glued to my ear. Other times I have said no to other people simply because it meant doing for them would cause myself to go lacking. I did not do this from a selfish standpoint, but did it to take care of me which has long been lacking. I have found that often times I took care of others  and their needs and I was left wanting and when I did not have anything left to give them, they were just fine and moved on either to the next person or were fine without me catering to their needs.

Would I have done those things without my set of New Years resolutions? I am not sure I would have had the focused and deliberate attention I did this year. I think mentally going through the exercise, documenting it and then verbalizing it to someone else gives your resolutions all a more firm foundation. So, as I approach 2012 I have some continued resolutions that I want to work on. My first resolution has cracked a few people up when I tell them:

1. Rewrite my DNA! Yes, that is right. People think that is so funny and then they quickly ask me “How are you going to do that?” I reply and say I do not know, but I plan to do it. Watching my family and observing my kids I come quickly to the conclusion that DNA is STRONG! It is amazing to me how my kids can act just like me and their dad without any training, coercing, or intentional transfer on our part. It is just in them. I guess that is what you call DNA. Well….they are certain things I do not like about myself on how I respond to things, things that I do and I ask myself “Why do I do that?’ It is my default character in situations and it is frankly my DNA that I was born with, uncultivated and unadulterated. Yet, I still want to change some of those unwanted tendencies and habits. Hence…the rewriting of my DNA. My first goal is acceptance of who I am and being ok that there are parts I love and there are some parts I love less. Second, I will work on awareness and use internal observation to check and gauge how I am responding to things and take an alternate approach when I am acting my “usual” way but the not the way I would like. Trust me..this will be a continued work in progress.

2. Lose 30 more lbs. in 2012. This is just a continuation of what I have already started in 2011 so I will just continue to persevere towards that goal. Part of this goal to live a better, healthier life is to try to run in a 5K this year. I am contemplating walking/running in my first 5K in May and this will be a huge accomplishment if I go through with it and pull it off.

3. Helping others- I have a continued desire to help others in any way that I can whether it be through finances, knowledge, material needs, etc. I think we are all blessed with something we can give to the cause of others and we often fail to do this. Going through the recent death in our family has shown me glimpses of how to be more compassionate and attuned to the needs of others. I simply want to help where I can.

4. Shaping the character of my children-Lauren will be 9 this year and Lucas will turn 4. Time is quickly moving and I feel like the clock has run off and left me when it comes to the work I feel I need to do with my children. I want them to become well-mannered, hard-working and ethical young people who are accountable for themselves and that have a compassion for others. But, most importantly I want to truly give them the gift of having a relationship with Christ. If they have that, all the other things will come in succession. So, my job this year is to be an example at home (which is why I have to re-write my DNA) and then tell them about the great example of God.

Four main things. All four are the work of a lifetime ,not just 365 days. But..there has to be a beginning in order for an ending or completion to come.

So…I will start on my journey today with a renewed commitment and desire to become a better me in 2012!


Five Hour Energy


These can be seen in every gas station open, every day in every city. They usually run you from $2.99-$3.99 depending on the location. But, no matter what the cost-when you need it, you will pay premium dollar for it. I am typically not a “pop a pill, drink a drink to make you feel better” kind of girl. In fact, I abhor taking medicine altogether. But, thanks to my husband who is Mr. “I’ll try the newest med”-I have become a believer and spokesperson for these little 2 oz. bottles. I can attest that this bottle works 100%. There is no crash. There are no jitters. You just feel energetic and most importantly, you feel awake and functional. During the last 30 days dealing with our family crisis, sleep has been at a limited amount and just to get through the day is sometimes extremely difficult without snapping your neck into two pieces as your head leans forward like a free fall because you are so sleepy! I have taken these in desperate times albeit skeptical at first. The skepticism is now gone and belief and set in. Also, I was minimally comforted as well as a I looked at the ingredients on the back and was glad to see it has a negligible amount of caffeine and the rest are full of B-vitamins. They come in several flavors and they even have a maximum strength for the days your neck has already snapped in two and you need to put it back together. Happy swallowing!

Five Days and Anxiety

I’ve never been one to rush the calendar, especially in my older years. But all I can stomach these days is to get past the 22nd. Every moment between now and then is filled with uncertainty and anxiety. Derrick’s execution is scheduled for Sept. 22 which is a mere five days away. In my earlier post about this, I expressed my feelings at that time around the finality of all of this. I’ll repeat again that there is nothing in this world more final than death.
When we found out his execution date had been set, we were five weeks away and today we are five days away and still expecting with great anticipation a miracle. Do miracles come at the ninth hour? YES
We have already received one miracle last week on September 8 when we were notified that the judge who ruled in Derrick’s case went public and appealed to the governor to change the death sentence he had given Derrick! That was indeed a miracle. That gave us hope then and continues to give us hope now.

As we wait, our hearts are filled with lots of emotions and it sometimes feel as an emotional roller coaster with the constant effects of a roller coaster ride. You know how when you get off the roller coaster, you can have that sick feeling in your stomach moments after the ride is over? The “sick” feeling is pressing in deeply amidst all the anxiety. I have had some friends ask me about looking to find a support group for family members of those on death row. Unfortunately, I was unable to find anything. That was a sort of shock because one would think these days, there would  be a support group for just about anything and anywhere. I tried to reason in my head why this area would be lacking? It is it because society has deemed that as unimportant? Are the only victims truly the actual victim or family members of the victims? Just things that made me go hmmm….

I have never quite felt a nervous anticipation/anxiety like this and one that is so scary. As  I reflect back on my anticipatory moments, they consist of the night before my wedding, the night before a big trip, moments before a public speaking engagement. Nothing quite compares to the emotions over the last five weeks. The five weeks have gone pretty quickly and has been filled at times with emotions ranging from extreme hope to doubting despair. I have tried to speedily get up from the despair moments and move into a place of calm.When I get to calm, my heart is still anxious but it is manageable.

The next five days will be hard days but we are anxiously awaiting a miracle even if it’s the ninth hour.

Who is Craig?

Craig’s List? I am not sure who “Craig” is, but  I just had an experience with him it this weekend. As part of my chore list and de-cluttering, I took the opportunity to put some items up for sale on Craig’s list to see if I could sell them. Wow! I literally put something on there and it sold in ten minutes and is the quickest cash I have ever made. I have sold many items on eBay before and that seemed easy to me. However with eBay, you need an account, the listing process is probably a couple minutes longer, there is a slight cost to sell on there, and you have to ship it to the lucky seller. With Craig’s list, I did not need an account, it took two clicks, it was free, and you did with local people that can come and pick up the item. It was practically effortless.

I put a girl’s bin organizer on Craig’s list to sell and within ten minutes I received an email from someone who wanted to buy it. She met me the next day and picked it up and gave me cash-the exact asking price I posted! It took me longer to go and pick this out at the store when I bought it than it did to sell it. That is amazing. This is a great testament to technology and how with a couple of clicks, you can have an individual yard item sale. I am not sure who Craig is or what is the history behind this new “local yard sale technology”, but I am glad because it brought me some easy money. It is worth trying.

Gotta Have It

The challenge question for the week is: “What is the one piece of technology you can’t live without?” When I read it, I had a quick, simple answer-my iPhone! There is no rival, without question. I absolutely love my iPhone. I have had it now for a year and I rely on it heavily. Before my iPhone, I had the Blackberry Curve and I didn’t have any complaints. But that fell right in line with the adage that says “You can’t miss what you never had!” So true. I was ok with the Blackberry because I didn’t know there was another greater, better device.
I use my phone for primarily checking my work email. But, I also use the Internet to browse and search any and every thing. And of course, I love the apps. Everything to weather, to recipes, and to navigation. It’s quick, user friendly and resourceful. If I do not have my phone when I leave, that is definitely a stop, turnaround and go back situation.
All I can say is…I gotta have it!

Real-Time Texting

I am excited about an app I have been using on my iPhone for a couple of months now called Kik Messenger. Shout out to my friend PH who told me about it!

It is instant messaging for smartphones and it is great! It is completely free and a quick and easy way to communicate just like texting. The difference in this than texting is that Kik tells you when a message is sent, delivered, and read. It also tells you when the other person is typing you back just like traditional instant messaging. It is real-time texting. It can be used on several kinds of smartphone devices, so it is not just an Iphone thing.  One of my favorite new apps!

New Year’s Resolutions

There is nothing magical about January 1 I have said often in the last two weeks. It is another day or date like any other date. Whatever we want to begin then, we could begin any day or even at the next breath. However, I too fall into the commonness of saying “I will do ___ starting January 1. Is that silly? Even though January 1 does not have magical powers, it is a new year which resonates as a new beginning with me and lots of others. Therefore, I have used that date time and time again to start something new.

2011 is no different and I am not sure my list is that much different than the list I had on January 1, 2005 for example. Nevertheless, I have re-committed to some goals and look forward to more changes for me and within me in 2011. Some of the items on my list include:

  • Reviving a spiritual connection with God to include daily prayer and devotion.
  • Practice healthy habits-drinking more water, exercise, better eating choices, and earlier bedtime
  • Focus on work/life blending-saying no to some work activities or events so that I can spend more time at home
  • More intentionally focused time with my husband and children
  • Taking care of me-doing things for me even when I have to say NO to others

It is a list of five things, but I think these five can help me tremendously and help me to live a better, more rewarding life. And in turn, I become a better wife, mother, and friend to all those I interact with. I look forward to my resolutions.

Happy New Year to all!