Sometimes Thing Don’t Go As Planned

I hope that everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving last week. While you know I’m not the biggest fan of turkey, stuffing, especially not deviled eggs, and just Thanksgiving food in general, I have to admit that I had a magnificent time with family. Any day that gives me the excuse to see my family is a good day to me.

This year my mother (and her hubs and mother-in-law) provided us with turkey, ham, green bean casserole (the one Thanksgiving food I truly love), corn casserole, mashed potatoes, rolls, homemade noodles, stuffing, sweet potatoes, two kinds of jello creations, chocolate pie, and of course pumpkin pie with the option of whipped cream. And I’m sure that I am forgetting something here. What did she ask me to contribute to this feast?

Pickles and olives.

Aside from the green beans, pickles and olives are probably my second and third favorite things to eat on Thanksgiving. I do appreciate the fact that my mom didn’t assign me a food that I’d have to spend hours preparing and cooking. That was very considerate of her. But I think that little fact might also have something to do with the fact that she didn’t want me or the guests to have to endure some sort of Angela creation, a.k.a. disaster.

It’s no secret that I’m not Mrs. Betty Crocker. In fact, I actually wanted to cook yesterday, and while I did end up with some very tasty soup and a delicious fruit pizza, I spent approximately five hours in the kitchen dirtying about seventeen different knives (all steak in style), boiling over pots (yes, plural) of water, spraying powder sugar everywhere, and I can’t forget, breaking the garbage disposal.

Sorry. No Rachel Ray here.

However, there is one place in life where I usually feel right at place and truly confident in my abilities. That would be in my art studio…which happens to be the living room floor at the moment.

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I’d say that November has been a pretty darn creative month for me…in the craft category, not food. I love creating things. No matter how busy I become as a wife, as a student, as a nurse (someday), and mom (someday), I will always find some time to be creative. It may not be very often. My families’ grumbling bellies may have to suffer, but it will be worth it.

Because being creative makes me whole.

I love finding paint dried up and hidden on the side of my hand a day later (and on Tia’s tail). I don’t mind cleaning up tiny scraps of paper, and I don’t mind when my fingertips are numb from being burned with hot glue.

However, as in the kitchen, sometimes things just don’t go the way I expect. Remember that cute fabric that I was excited about a couple of weeks ago? Well, sadly,¬†that didn’t go as I expected.

It was supposed to be a Christmas ornament for my most recent Dinner Club get-together’s ornament exchange. I stayed up really really late the night before and made it while my husband played his video game. At one point he stated that it didn’t look like an ornament. I gave him a dirty look, told him he was mean, and insulted his own creativity…all the while I should have listened to him. Seventy-five percent through I looked at the thing myself and thought it was ugly, but decided that it’d be better when I was finished. When I was finished, the husband’s statement was confirmed.

I went to the store the next day before the party and bought a real ornament.

My creation did not look like an ornament, and there was no way in the world that I was going to give that to someone, let alone a friend. It did have some nice elements to it. I loved the colors and the combination of patterns. I adored the raw edges of the fabric and how it was rolled up into little flowers. I couldn’t let the thing go to waste…so I gave it to Tia to use a play toy.

She still needs some convincing.

Now these pieces of wood? I’m not even going to get into that. Aside from the five hours spent in the kitchen, part of which I was cleaning up to grossness that was supposed to be in the garbage disposal, I spent several more hours trying to salvage these babies.

I’m starting over tomorrow.

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Sometimes things aren’t going to go as planned. Sometimes you’ll have to scrap certain things and start all over.

And it will all be okay.

ang

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A Paper Surprise

Over the weekend I celebrated my best friend’s birthday (twenty-sixth, right?!) with a lovely surprise party planned by her husband and parents. I, along with another sweet friend, was assigned the fun task of providing decorations for the party.

Well, if you’ve been reading this blog at all you probably know that I’m going back to school. Going back to school equals being poor for the rest of your life. Being poor equals the need to get creative. Thank goodness Pinterest is free.

All the decor was created with paper, yarn, paint, cans, wooden sticks, and a little bit of rhinestone bling. Combine that with a hot glue gun, sand, a sewing machine, and some tape and you got yourself a party.

I arrived early to set up all the decor before the guests, especially the guest of honor, got there. I’m sure that I got many strange stares from the diners and servers as I stood atop the barstools to reach the ceiling. This was just the first time of many that I truly missed my 6’8″ handsomeness who was unable to celebrate with us.

When the guest of honor arrived she seemed completely shocked and surprised, and I’m pretty sure that she shed a tear when she saw me there. It was difficult to keep the secret all week when all I wanted to do was tell her how excited I was to be coming in town to see her!

It was a fabulous night.

Today is her actual birthday, and I’m so happy that she came into this world, umm…twenty-three(?) years ago, and that she came into my life four years ago. Happy birthday H.

ang

Achievable and Challenging

I think there is a great importance to setting goals. Before volleyball games, I had my girls come up with goals as a team and come up with individual goals. At the beginning of the season someone would say, “Our goal should be to do good.” Well, that’s a given! I then explained to them that our goals needed to be measurable. We need to be able to actually see if we achieve them.

Once the girls grasped that concept someone would suggest, “Our goal should be to have no missed serves.” This seems like a great goal, however, these are middle school girls…and for many serving was not yet their strong suit. I had to explain that our goals need to be achievable. Then someone would blurt out, “Okay then, only ten missed serves.” Ten?! We’d surely lose the game is we missed that many serves. I then explained that our goals need to be achievable, yes, but also challenging.

Ooooohhh.

So for this month, I am setting some very measurable, achievable, and challenging goals for myself.

1. Decide which nursing school I will attend.

Obviously I need to make this decision because I’ll be enrolling in classes soon! Aaahhh! I am so excited to start school, I just can’t say it enough! I am definitely feeling a pull toward one school, but I’m not ready to make a definite decision. Soon, though!

2. PR on November 20th in my second ever half marathon.

I finished my last (first) half marathon in one hour, fifty-nine minutes, and ten seconds. I so want to beat this!

3. Finish my second ever half marathon in one hour and fifty-five minutes.

Yes, I’ll be happy with any PR, but to really challenge myself I want to finish 1.55:xx. I know that for so long (marathon training) I was focused on mileage rather than speed, so for the past couple of weeks I’ve really been trying to get faster!

4. Cook (3 meals a week and two great Thanksgiving sides). Read (1 book). Make (3 things from Pinterest).

5. Smile 334,918,374,918,327,419,834,719,238,471,903,248,102 times!

How are you challenging yourself this month?!

ang

Oh Lovely Pinterest

About two weeks ago I made a discovery that has changed my life.

I have spent hours exploring this discovery, and yet I still don’t really know what I’m doing. It has jumpstarted the wheels in my creative head spinning, so much so that everyone in my family should expect homemade Christmas gifts this year. I have ideas exploding in my head, yet I haven’t put many into action yet. It has made me become even more unproductive than I was before.

If you are at all familiar with it, I’m sure you have already guessed…

…and if you are not already familiar with it, get onboard! Join the bandwagon. You won’t even miss all the wasted hours browsing other peoples boards!

I like to think of Pinterest as a tool to create online inspiration boards. You can “pin” photos of absolutely anything to boards for your own personal account. Currently I have several boards…one for products I want, one for what my dream home might look like, but by far my favorite board is for things I want to try to make! (If you’d like to see my boards, just follow me here!)

Pinterest inspired me to get out a needle and thread yesterday and cut apart a couple of t-shirts. While I do consider myself a creative person, I definitely would not say that I’m handy with a needle and thread. Just ask my mother-in-law who I ask to sew anything and everything that needs fixing that comes from my home. (This would include sewing a button on a pair of pants…pathetic, I know. In fact, so pathetic that my husband decided to learn to sew a button himself, and he ended up fixing the button on my last pair of pants!) It’s not so much that I don’t know how to sew…it’s just that I don’t want to.

Or rather, that I didn’t want to.

But, Pinterest made me want to! The proof…

I made this scarf! The directions for this scarf did, in fact, require a sewing machine. I didn’t want to wait to find someone with a sewing machine and then have to drive to their house (which would at least be an hours drive from where I live), so my impatient booty threaded the needle and went to work!

I think it’s rather cute. (So family and friends, which of you would like a scarf like this one for Christmas?!)

But…I discovered something about this lovely website yesterday that made me think of it as not so lovely. I realized that you can search pins by categories. One of the categories that caught my eye, obviously, was the fitness category. Fitness equals loveliness in my book. So I clicked on it and began browsing. I found many lovely pins…many of which were inspiring phrases. I found this lovely pin called a runner’s prayer…

Lovely, right?

Then I found other images that I’d fit into the “thinspiration” (gag) category…images of women who do not look healthy or fit. I found phrases that expressed negative words about being “fat” and about what foods should be eaten (or rather, not eaten). There were phrases designed to make someone feel guilty about themselves.

Not so lovely anymore.

I do understand that on Pinterest, people can “pin” literally anything in the cyber world that they want. Therefore people can share these more or less tough-love (er, no love?)type of images or phrases. But how is the idea of thinness equals beauty ever going to change when so many people believe in it? How will this ever change?!

Little by little, it can change. We just have to believe in the good things. We have to remind ourselves what real beauty is. Not numbers. Not weight. Not what you look like.

Then, my faith was reignited in Pinterest when also in the fitness category I found this little gem…

(Image pinned from Operation Beautiful)

There is always going to be some negativity coming from somewhere in the world. It is just up to us to ignore it and look to the positive.

ang