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Welcome to my little haven of creative writing, passionate ranting, and thoughtful learning.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Tom Hanks, Preschool Pen Pals & Negative Ions [June Learning]

Another month has passed, and we're over halfway through 2016. What did I learn/do in June to stop accepting crap in my life?

I stood up for myself.

This month I started advocating for myself in my relationships. Instead of backing down each time, I started standing up for myself and advocating for me. This is still an aspect of my life that I need to work on, and I still need to learn how to say no, but learning to stand up for myself for what is good for me is a huge step in the right direction.

And it was really quite a month of learning, here's my regular learning for June:


1.) Calm

A coworker introduced me to this site. It's so soothing when in the stress of work or to fall asleep to at night.



2.) Four year olds can be adorable pen pals

Gabby sent mail to me (yay, I love mail!) and Clay made a card for Jace. He was so excited about it and carried it around with him for the next few days.



3.) Himalayan Salt Lamps

There are articles claiming that these little lamps give off negative ions, which are what are put off by waterfalls, fresh air etc. Electronics put off positive ions. I got a set of two, one for my desk at work and one for home figuring I'll take what I can get to improve my mood, and if nothing else, they look pretty!


4.) "America's Got Talent" is not actually about Americans who have talent.

I watched about half of the season premiere, and saw ballerinas from Russia and a group from Latin America. I had assumed based on the title that the show was about Americans, but a more accurate name would be "Talents from people wherever around  the world on an American stage judged by American judges." Not quite as catchy I suppose.


5.) I have an addiction to ThredUp and summer dresses.

I love ThredUp, which Emily posted about discovering last month in her learning linkup. It's fantastic and new things are added constantly, so if you see nothing on Monday, by Wednesday you may find 25 things you totally need. And dresses. I decided just to do a count, I could wear a different dress to work every day for a month. A full month before I would repeat any.


6.) Linking up is hard to do.

Throughout the life of this blog a couple blogging friends have put out link ups, which I've generally participated in. And of course, I love this monthly link up of learning: it's basically my guarantee to post once each month. But this month I decided to try and host my own link up, and my link was the only one. I think before I try again I'm going to do a little research to see how to get my blog out there more, and try to come up with something that more people might be interested in blogging about.



7.) I was in the same space as Tom Hanks (and totally missed him).

I went to the night market in Cleveland this month (FANTASTIC, by the way.) And do you know who else was there: Tom Hanks. I didn't find this out until after the event, but it's still kind of cool. And the night market? I will most certainly be going again because the food was amazing, the vendors were fun, and I got to see the Chinese Dragon roam the street. It might be my favorite Cleveland event.

Thanks to Emily for her monthly learning link ups (be sure to check out her post to see other learning posts from June!)

What did you learn in June?


Sunday, June 26, 2016

Mom Moments (Part 6)

This needs no introduction, but just allow me to say, he's my favorite.

Swimming at the pool.
Jace: The swim pants are in my butt mom!
Me: That's called a wedgie.
Jace: Okay. I have a wedgie mom!


I come in from the backyard and Jace is on the couch.
Jace: MOM! MOM!
Me: What is it? What's wrong?
Jace: *Solemly* There's a bee on me.
Me: Where??
Jace: On my neck.
Me: *Rushes over to check* Dude, that's not a bee, it's a mosquito. Just squish it.
Jace: Oh.



Aunt Elise comes to the Memorial Day Picnic wearing red lipstick.
Jace: Aunt Weiss! Hey, you have funny chapstick on.


At Mimi and Grandpa Bongo's house, after parking the Camero.
Grandpa: It just needs to cool down, I was hot rodding it.
Mimi: You better not get a speeding ticket!
Jace: What's a speedy ticket?


I was using the android version of Siri on my phone.
Me: Is symbolistically a word?
Phone: I will do a web search on simplistically.
Me: I know simplistically is a word, you're useless Siri.
Jace: Who's Siri???

*I realized later the world I was mentally searching for was symbolically*


Jace has been going on for about 5 minutes about something with dinner.
Me: So wait, you can't use the macaroni fork?
Jace: I can't eat the macaroni with the chicken fork! That's what I've been trying to tell you!!!


At the beach.
Jace: I'm going to make a sand angel mom!
Me: That doesn't work the same as a snow angel!
Jace: Aww, really?


Aunt Lindsay was checking her mail.
Lindsay: Yes, the mail is here, I've been waiting for something! Nope. Damn it. And nope. Of course it didn't come.
Jace: Can I see?
Lindsay: There's nothing to see, it's not the mail I wanted.
Jace: But I want to see the damn it.

*We explained that damn it is not nice to say and she really meant darn it, don't worry*

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Generalizing a Generation

It's been quite a while since I've posted a rant. Don't get me wrong, I've still had plenty of mental rants, but this is the first time I've been irritated enough to take pen to paper (er, fingers to keyboard?). 

What, you may ask, got me all riled up? Please see below:



Someone not far from me in age posted this on social media. Someone who, let me assure you, in her lifetime has absolutely had moments of greed and selfishness along with her moments of kindness and compassion.

To start, you cannot put this label on an entire generation of people. Any generation of people. Whether they are age 5 or 105, in any generation there are people that will meet these criteria. It's human nature for some individuals to give in to materialism, selfishness, and being irresponsible. But there are always the helpers, the selfless, those who are handing over their coat to someone whose home just burned down, who are opening their business on a Sunday to hand out food to those donating blood in wake of a tragedy.

It makes me crazy when we encourage selfish behaviors, and it makes me crazy when we state it as fact.

Finally, if you're so fed up with the way things are going, do something to change it.

Raise your children with respect and boundaries, interact with others in a way that shows selflessness and care. Yes, you are just one person, but good deeds get paid forward. Treating someone respectfully will carry out further. And before you start pointing fingers at how everyone else in your generation is awful, maybe try really analyzing yourself. Because you may not be able to change anyone else, but you can certainly try and impress kindness on your corner of the world.

And if you're concerned about "old fashioned values" coming back in style, then bring them into your own style. We live in a country built on freedom: no one stops you from going to church, or from wearing modest clothing. There's not a single old fashioned value you couldn't uphold today in your life if you so chose.

So instead of labeling everyone around you, start with yourself.

And if you need some ideas on how to reach out, maybe start with some random acts of kindness.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Physical Knick-Knacks

After creating my first link-up, I decided to do some searching for others, just to immerse myself further into the blogging world.

And I stumbled upon a blog that challenged to think about what items your kids will remember of you.

My mom had a gold watch with a black face: a present from my dad. Whenever we were going out somewhere (an awards assembly, a birthday dinner, shopping at Wally-World) she would  put it on. I remember there was only one jewelry counter she could ever go to to get the battery replaced because the back was so stubborn.

My papa had a red fisherman's hat that he lived in during vacations and summer, and really most of the time. When he passed away that was what I wanted to keep to remember him by. It's still in my bedroom today. He had a little brown plastic teddy bear that lived on the dashboard of his truck, and then his van. That's what my sister kept. Those items, they were him.

When Jace is older, when he looks back at his childhood, what item will he think of when he thinks of "mom?"

I have a deep hope that it's not my cell phone, which I (and the rest of the general population) never leave home without. I don't want him to remember the Fitbit always on my wrist, or the ever present laptop/surface.

Here's what I want him to remember: this bag.



This is my go to "adventure" bag. It goes to the pool, to the beach, to Rock Creek. It's been taken on picnics to the park, baseball games, and outdoor movies. This is the bag that took Christmas presents to Mimi and Grandpa's house, and went on vacation to Florida.

Packing this bag means something fun is about to happen, and I want him to associate me with packing up that bag for whatever was happening next.

Do I actually get a say in which item he remembers? Of course not, but when I think about my best memories with Jace, they happen when we're adventuring, and those are the memories I will always treasure with my favorite boy.




Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Share your Workspace {Link Up}


As I sat at my desk the other morning I thought about how personal it is to me. My workspace is covered in pictures (mostly of Jace and my friends), lots of snacks, stress relief lotion from Bath and Body Works and a couple other key pieces.

Being at Hyland I've seen the desks of minimalists (does anyone really even work at that desk with just a computer and phone?) to the super creative (in building three there is a desk that has created a Nerf Gun display wall).

And I started wondering, what do the rest of the world's workspaces look like? What kind of work do they do there? How do they find their desk to be most efficient?



Here's my little corner at Hyland Software:




What do I do? I'm a project assistant on the Financial System Implementation project. I do a lot of administrative tasks, such as taking notes, converting recordings, and the miscellaneous items that come up.

What's on my desk?

  • Three screens that give me more visibility into my projects.
  • A phone that has rang for me exactly two times in six months.
  • A Himalayan Salt Lamp for peace and calm.
  • Snacks, no explanation needed.
  • Stress reducing coloring book.
  • Pictures everywhere to make me smile.
  • A bowl for my keys.
So in my first ever link up, I'm asking, what do you do? And what does your workspace look like?

Click the blue button to add a link to your own blog so other's can go right to your post and check out your workspace!



Monday, June 13, 2016

{She Speaks Truth to Herself}

Dear Camille,

We're going to be painfully honest here, so be prepared.

You are strong. When you were 18 you got your first tattoo, the symbol for strength/power because you wanted a reminder to be strong. You ARE strong. Stop doubting that. Stop feeling weak when the depression flares up. You are strong enough to keep living with it, strong enough to mourn babies, and strong enough to see your family through trying times.

But you are stubborn. You don't like to budge when you've decided something. This trait serves you well sometimes, but at others you have taken it too far and it has cost you. You need to start recognizing in yourself when you are fighting for what's right or simply digging in your heels.

And you are impatient. You know this, you admit to it, but it is bad. It ties in with that stubbornness and results in some ugly words and ineffective fights.

Sometimes you have a temper, and you hurl words as your weapon. And you do so quite effectively, much to the dismay of those around you. But as you've gotten older, you have gained more control of this trait, and a greater ability to regulate your words by simply walking away.

You are a good mom. You are the best mom for Jace. And those seeds of doubt about your two miscarriages being because God didn't feel you were going to be a good mom are lies. They are terrible thoughts that you need to fight against, because you are a selfless, loving, book-reading mom.

And you need to hear this, though you are quite uncomfortable with praise: you are good. You are loyal to your people and quick to defend and protect them. You are an empath and intuitive which gives you great insight into what other's are feeling and therefore how to treat them. You have a soft heart and a welcoming smile. And you are loved.

Don't let life run you down, and don't focus on your negative traits. Keep your head up and keep using your abilities to serve others and continue to cultivate your relationships. Be optimistically realistic and keep on dancing to your Disney songs.

Love,
Camille

____

Catherine Valentine, a dear friend and fellow author challenged me to write this letter, check out hers here.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Cleveland Summer Bucket List

A couple years ago I made a pretty extensive Summertime to do list for our home in Kentucky. Since we're in a new state, I thought this summer I would do the same to have things to look forward to doing around Cleveland, as well as combine some of my childhood summers since my hometown is only an hour away!



1.) Rock Creek
2.) Geneva on the Lake
3.) Trumbull County Fair
4.) Cleveland Zoo
5.) Outdoor Movies at Crocker Park 
6.) Putt-putt
7.) Memphis Kiddie Park
8.) Camp in the backyard
9.) Make s'more (we've already done this. But more s'mores y'all!)
10.) Water balloon fight
11.) Hikes in the metroparks
12.) See Finding Dory in theaters!
13.) Go to the Drive In
14.) Brandywine Waterfall
15.) Nelson Ledges
16.) Berea Pool
17.) Presque Isle State Park
18.) Great Lakes Science Center
19.) Visit Sweet Moses old fashioned ice cream shop
20.) Days at the beaches of Lake Erie!

Local friends, what am I missing that is a must do for the summer?

Not local friends, what are some summer staples I've missed?