Friday, May 29, 2009

Me, by the Numbers - 7

In my lifetime, I've flown seven times (seven round-trips). My first flight was to Louisville, KY, for the National FFA Conference when I was sixteen. I quickly learned that I do not really enjoy flying. When I went out to KY the next year, I drank Nyquil before getting on the plane. Worked wonderfully!! I've flown there a total of three times. My next flight was also my first solo flight, going down to Orlando to meet my mom and sisters at Disney World. My youngest sister was competing in a national cheerleading competition there. Not a horrible flight, but not nearly as much fun as Disney World. We flew nonstop to California for our honeymoon, a very long flight for me. My husband flies about four times a year, so it doesn't really bother him! My last two trips have been to North Carolina for work conferences. I just got back from a trip two weeks ago that was awful! I spent the entire hour trying desperately to not throw up all over the poor guy next to me.

I was seven when I got my first pair of glasses. I remember the doctor telling me that if I wore them correctly and frequently, my eyes would probably correct themselves. Liar.

My favorite hairstyle at that age was the super-cool side ponytail. Oh, yeah. With a scrunchie or a big bow that coordinated perfectly with my leggings and oversized sweater. I was such a trend setter. Or maybe not.

Seven things I'd like to accomplish this weekend: 1) Clean my scraproom. 2) Put away my china that's been sitting on my dining room floor for six months. 3) Organize my underwear/sock drawer. 4) Go through the bathroom cupboard and toss some old makeup. 5) Make graduation cards for both my sisters & my cousin. 6) Mow my grass. 7) Find a rug for our master bathroom.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Me, by the Numbers: Six

My husband and I dated for six years before we got married. That may seem like a long time, but I was only fifteen when we started going together. (Do people still say going together? Is it going out? Just dating? I never know the proper terminology.) He was so cute, he actually asked me to go to the movies on the last day of school, so he wouldn't have to see me if I said no! We actually didn't know each other very well at all, we just happened to have homeroom next to each other. Our first date was a double with two of his friends to go see Road Trip, which is seriously the worst movie ever. Good thing he had better taste in girls than movies.

I still use the method for finding percentages that I learned in sixth grade. Seriously, it is awesome.

I had the chicken pox when I was six. And while I'm sure that there are many kids who can successfully avoid scratching, I was not one of them. I still have a few scars from my chicken pox scabs. (Also, why did people freak out about eating pork during the "swine flu" but no one avoids chicken to protect themselves from chicken pox? Just a thought.)

Another fun memory from when I was six? First time I got my name written on the board in school. Apparently, my teacher was not pleased that I was talking while she was talking. I very vividly remember having to stay inside for the first ten minutes of recess; probably my most vivid memory of first grade. My mouth has been getting me in trouble ever since.

I graduated from college in 2006. And started my first new job in 2006. And got married in 2006. Other historical moments in 2006? The DOW hit 12,000 for the first time, Google bought YouTube, and Dick Cheney shot a guy. Pretty busy year, eh?

Friday, May 15, 2009

Me, by the Numbers - Five

Not a lot of interesting "five" things in my life. Seriously. I've wracked my brain trying to think of things, and I came up with a big fat nothing. In lieu of quirky little tidbits about my life, you get this:

Cara's Top 5

5 Things I Do Not Want To Do On the Plane Tomorrow:

- Get airsick. It's a real possibility, I assure you.
- Sit next to the smelly dude. My senses really cannot handle that.
- Experience turbulence. See first comment.
- Sit next to someone else who gets airsick. Again, the senses.
- Sit in the middle.

5 Things I Can't Wait To Do When I Get Home:
- Hug + kiss my husband.
- Sleep in my own bed.
- Crash on my couch.
- Cuddle.
- Have a popsicle.

5 Things I'm Really Excited About Right Now:
- Cathy Z's "Everyone Can Write A Little" class.
- New Life. I <3 Spring.
- Scrapbooking for fun. I <3 Fun.
- Memorial Day AKA my next day off of work.
- Twitter.

5 Things You May Not Have Known About Me:
- My eyesight is 20/180. Yeah, that pretty much sucks. That means that what normal people can see clearly from 180 feet, I can only be 20 feet away from to see. I LIVE in glasses + contacts.
- I am a terrible swimmer. I could probably save myself from drowning, but I'm pretty sure I would pass out at the thought of having to swim laps.
- I love grilled cheese, but only with white american deli-sliced cheese. None of that "singles" crap. Disgusting.
- I HATE the smell of hot dogs.
- Sometimes my husband and I are so alike it scares me.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Inspiration is Everywhere

I'm down in North Carolina at a business conference, the kind where the hotel sets a little pad of paper + a pen at every place setting.

I certainly wasn't expecting to find any kind of life inspiration here, but those little creative sparks really are everywhere. While playing with the Bic the hotel had generously provided for me, I noticed a little phrase in addition to the more common advertising logo.

play with words

Powerful, huh? Here I am, at a banking seminar of all places, and my pen is telling me to play with words. But the all-knowing hotel wasn't content to stop there. A note on my pad of paper reads, "more imagination per square foot." Aside from the incomplete comparison (more imagination per square foot than what/whom?), the statement really got me thinking. What am I doing to encourage creativity? Am I actively increasing my "imagination per square foot" or am I merely sitting back on my heels, content with where I am?

Using a literal interpretation, my supplies + my space for for creating are increasing. That's definitely more imagination per square foot, especially in my little 11x11 room. But what about a more expanded analysis? Are my cards + layouts pushing at my own boundaries, or have I been satisfied with just slapping things down on paper?

I think I know the answers to those questions, and I'd like to change them. I have been focused so much on productivity lately (finishing my sister's album, working on cards I needed that day) that I'm forgetting to have fun. I'm forgetting to play. Play with words - play with photos - play with papers + materials. I think you have to make a conscious choice to be creative, a choice to stretch your imagination.

I have decided to make that choice. I choose creativity. I choose fun.

What will your choice be?

Friday, May 8, 2009

Me, by the Numbers - Four

Honestly?  This numbers thing is harder than I thought!  Therefore (get it?  there-FOUR), I only have four items today.
 
 
When I was four, I won first prize in our "Little Miss Hometown" pageant.  I sang, "If You're Happy and You Know It" for my talent.  When the judges asked me if I had any other special talents, I told them I could sing in Chinese.  (I totally can't.  And I don't really know where I got this idea, but I remember singing "Chinese" to my parents in the car on numerous occasions.)

 

I am fortunate enough to have a four-generation photo from my wedding.  It includes my great-grandmother, my grandmother, my mom, and me.  Hopefully we can take a five-generation photo soon!
 
I held four different jobs while in high school, one for each year, only in the summers.  I started out as an office assistant, filing papers twelve hours a week for a small fertilizer company.  My aunt was the vice-president, and she hooked me up with the job.  Yay, nepotism!  The summer after my sophomore year, I worked at a local restaurant, expediting orders, bussing tables, and scooping ice cream in their small ice cream parlour.  I worked one morning serving coffee (opening at 6 in the morning), and quickly decided I never wanted a job that required me to get up at such an obscene hour.  After junior year, I worked in the swim shop of our local water park, selling sodas, candy, and swim diapers.  Not exactly the highlight of my summers.  Extremely boring.  After senior year, I got a much better job working in the marketing department of a state agency as an intern.  Lots of driving around the state, and exhibiting at little fairs and festivals.  More mentally stimulating than any of the others, but still not my dream job.
 
This is the 144th post on my blog.  (Which seems kinda crazy, considering my first post was July 11, 2008.  That's over three posts a week on average.)

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Savor.

I picked "savor" as my word for 2009, and I think it's been a pretty good one so far.

I normally try to rush through things. It's not that I am necessarily in a hurry, it's just that I am constantly looking forward to what's next in my life. What lies ahead for me? What does my future hold?

I can admit that I am sometimes so wrapped up in the future, that I forget to appreciate what's happening RIGHT NOW. And I need to, because these moments are brief, and once they are gone, I will only be left with the memories.

And I want those memories to be clear, detailed, and full of emotion. I want to really live in the moment, even though I know I will not be able to tamper the feeling of needing to know what's ahead, not completely. That's a big part of who I am, and I don't want to change that aspect. Instead, I want to strengthen the other part of me, the part that really enjoys my life right now.

Here are a few things I've taken the time to savor lately:

  • Singing along to the radio in the car. I love doing this. I'm not exactly a fantastic singer, and I would never sing loudly with anyone else in the car, but it is a great release for me.
  • The weather. I'm not really an "outside" person, but the weather lately has been amazing, and I find myself almost WANTING to do yard work just so I have a reason to enjoy it. Our yard has never looked so good. Even yesterday, when I was so sore I could barely move, I really enjoyed pulling up the drive and seeing our mulched flower beds and freshly cut grass.
  • Time with Phillip. As he gets into the planting season, I see less and less of him. Some nights he's in the fields until 10:30. I really do savor the little moments with him, whether it's just watching tv at night, or eating dinner at the kitchen bar.
  • Planning for the future. I realize that this goes against the idea of savoring the moment, but I really love when Phillip & I are able to talk about our lives, and our plans. It's something I love to do, and I totally savor making plans.
  • Not being busy at work. After the last few weeks, it's kind of nice to just relax. It will be super busy again before I know it, and I'm trying to savor this time.
  • Meeting our friends' new baby. So adorable. We got to meet him when he was just four days old, and I really believe that a newborn is just the most precious thing in the world.
  • Seeing an old friend. You know that type of person, where it doesn't matter how long it's been, you instantly feel like you saw them yesterday? That's how this girl is. I just feel at home seeing her.
  • Making time for me. Sometimes you just need some alone time!
  • Reading. I just started the Stephanie Plum books, and I like them. Very quirky sense of humor, which I love. Not sure why it's taken me forever to start these, since I've heard so many good things about them from so many people, but I picked up the first one on Saturday. I really want to read more, and I'd like to alternate a light, funny book with a heavier, more intellectual one. Any suggestions?
  • Grilling. I love this time of year, for pork, burgers, chicken, and even veggies. No mess to clean up!

What have you taken the time to enjoy lately? Are you living your word?

Saturday, May 2, 2009

33%

Today, the year is one-third over. Crazy.

When I think back four months, to January 1st, my impression is that this year is flying by much too quickly. I feel like it was yesterday that I freaked out about turning 24.
Or completed my first digital layout. Or the other many things I've done or experienced and documented.

And even though, looking back, the year is speeding by, I felt like last week was the longest week of my existence. Waiting. I hate waiting.

Time really is relative. Which makes sense, because like my relatives, time is crazy.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Me, by the Numbers - Three

Another exciting edition! This one is a little wordy.

I finished college in three years. My first semester, I only took thirteen credits, and honestly? I had WAY too much time on my hands. I met with my advisor, and we decided it was totally possible to finish in three years. The spring semester of my freshman year was my test. I jumped to eighteen credits, taking six classes instead of four. And it was tough. But I knew I could totally do this. I even took twenty-one credits one semester, three of which were an independent study. I also LOVED taking online classes. While I wouldn't want to do this for my entire degree, or for more in-depth classes where interaction is more important, it was great for some of my electives like World Religions and Animal Science 101. In total, I think I ended up taking four online courses, two independent studies, and two courses at a community college in the summer. I took full semesters of summer and "winterim" courses every year. (Our winter break was eight weeks long.) I was so excited to graduate in three years, proving to myself that I could set a goal and achieve it.

I finished that degree three years ago.

I have three "completed" scrapbooks. Our honeymoon to Napa & Sonoma was the first set of pictures I'd ever scrapped. I consider Christmas 06/07 to be complete, as the book is stuffed and I will have to start a new album for 2008. I also did Ali Edward's Week in the Life project last October, and I consider that album completed. (I would LOVE to do this again, either a larger one-month version or a very detailed look into one day. Actually that would be a fun experiment - posting what I'm doing maybe every 30 minutes or so? Or totally boring. Whatev.)

I have owned three cars. I got my first car when I turned sixteen, a Ford Focus. I loved this car - a great first car. I literally ran it until it died. Over 120,000 miles in 7 years. Pretty impressive, right? There were SEVERAL times in the last two years when the car refused to start, or the engine cut off AS I WAS DRIVING. One very cold day in January, as I was delivering invitations to realtors in Lewes, my car just refused to start. Note: this was two months AFTER we put almost $2,000 of work into the car - just to get it to pass inspection! I had to get it towed to the nearest Ford dealer, who told me the car was probably worth $500. Fantastic. At this point, the car is only 7 years old (brand new when I bought it). We were SO frustrated. We ended up basically giving the car away for scrap. The next day, I bought a Honda Accord. Fantastic car. Probably would have kept it for ten years, but when I started my current job, I was eligible for a company car as one of the perks. We tried to sell the Honda for months, finally ended up selling it to Phillip's grandparents. My car now is a Toyota Camry, which is definitely my favorite, mostly because we don't have to pay for gas, maintanence, or insurance. Yay!

My credit card bill this month is three times bigger than my husband's. He doesn't know yet. Yikes.

I thought I'd write about a memory from third grade, but I honestly can't think of a single thing. Not even anything insignificant. Weird. I have plenty of memories from other years in school.

I started dance lessons when I was three. I can remember LOVING going to classes. I continued until I was fourteen. At that time, I was dancing close to fifteen hours a week and I was totally worn down. I knew I was never going to pursue dancing as a career, and I wasn't good enough to use it for scholarships to college, so I turned in my pointe shoes. Very bittersweet for me, as I made so many good friends. (I actually just found one of my old friends on facebook. She and I were inseparable for years, and she actually did go on to dance in college. Not sure what she's doing now, but I hope to catch up with her.)

Three things I'd rather be doing right now: sleeping, scrapbooking, playing on the internet.

Three things I need to do this weekend: clean my messy house, mow the grass, clean my scraproom.