Sunday, July 25, 2010

I Love Technology...Always and Forever

If you don't know the movie my title is from, well, you just haven't lived. HA! (its from Napoleon Dynamite-go watch it and prepare to LYAO).

I haven't really mentioned the big J-O-B on here at all and since I spent half of my week away from the fam and on the job this past week I thought it might be a great time to enlighten.

I do work for a technology company in their financial services department. I have personally never worked in the financial services industry but my hubby does so I feel very comfortable talking that language...and I did help peeps with their mortgage process in my former life. But anyway, my job doesn't have much to do with actual financial services. Its just a nice thing that I kind of know it.

As I mentioned above I just spent a few days away from home in the windy city for my job. Its been a while for me to be that involved with work. Meaning I work from home and attend all my meetings via webcam all day (again I heart technology) and IM to get the rest done etc. This was my first time meeting anyone from my company in person. It was two hard core days of intense rah rah for the company's next fiscal year, which kicks off August 1st.

So here is what I observed (being out of this game for approximately 3 years and all...)

  • I am so lucky to be working for a company that is so positive on their outlook and honestly feels that the recession is behind them.
  • I attended meetings in 7 different cities over two days, well, kind of. 75 people overall attended these meetings but we used our handy dandy technology so that very little travel was required for anyone. I am a nerd but I think this is cool.
  • I realized one of the reasons I loved my former life is because when I was in it things were booming and it was thrilling to be a part of it. Insert I really don't like down turns.
  • I forgot how much I missed listening and learning from others. I can't believe how many quotes I wrote down from my peers who spoke. Personal Favorite: "we have to have ambition greater than ourselves."
  • I have always worked for mostly men but in this situation the main boss is a woman. Its an interesting change.
  • I love working with other people who have passion for what they do
  • I don't think I will ever be a traditional working woman. That many days away from home on a regular basis for work isn't the mom I want to be. But interestingly enough, it is a LOT of the women I work with. And I once thought I would be just like them. Its funny to look through a window at them up close and realize how much I love my life exactly how it is.
  • I do still want to dabble in my former life and (eventually) flip at least one house. Although I think this technology gig is really cool, I love homes.
  • I think its fun to know things before the rest of the world knows it. And I do. HEHE!
  • No matter what the demographic, everyone loves a little reality TV. Especially the "Real Housewives" series. Which is funny because I consider myself a TV junkie and that is the ONE reality series I don't watch. Well that and the Bachelor.
  • I think eventually my company will help the likes of others get out of this recession and we will all work in a way that no one thought feasible 10 years ago. And that my friends is cool.

I have always thought it was very important to love what you do if you are going to work. I know not everyone is afforded this luxury but I pray someday we all will be. There is nothing better than spending your days doing something you believe in and are passionate about. Some days I still think for me, eventually this is just being a mom. I do miss my playgroup, going to the gym every morning, raising my son. But for now, I do believe this is what God has planned for our family. And while I am on it, I am going to enjoy the ride...

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Bible Beater

Mamalouise's definition of a BB: a "Christian" who knows more about the Bible than anyone else (so they claim) and beats that said Bible in anyone and everyone's face that they can. Very Christian like eh?

I have some family that I would categorize as BB's (nothing like the pot calling the kettle black know this being such a "christian" like and un-judgemental statement and all!) member of the good old fam even sent out Christmas cards to everyone that said that all of us were going to go to hell because we didn't follow God's ways. Now isn't that a way to encourage people to go to church?! Laughable.

So our fam went to church with GranBeck and Fwank this weekend. They are of the Lutheran type and we wanted to check out their churchy digs. There was a band (if your understanding of a band is a synthesizer a guitar and a few middle aged woman on the mics rocking it out) which had great music but the clapping thing is a bit too much for P-Daddy. Its the Catholic in him, so he just stands there as we tease him. JD on the other hand dances his little heart out just like he dances to the rap music I allow him to listen to...apparently he is a non bias' music lover just like his mommy. Can I get an AMEN! :)

The gospel verse this week was Luke 10:25-37 which is the parable of the "Good Samaritan." This jist of this story is that a man is talking to Jesus and tells him that he thinks being a good christian means to "love your neighbor as yourself." Jesus is all like-duh-yes but asks him what that means? Then tells the story of a man getting robbed and left for dead. Three men pass him...a priest, a levite (don't ask me what this kind of man is, I am assuming a rich man?), and, you guessed it-the good samaritan...who is the only one that stops and then helps this poor man who was just robbed. The moral is that the man who stopped was truly living out God's love...not that the other's weren't Christians but that they didn't show God's love to the robbed man.

Lots of good modern day parallels were drawn, including personal stories that the pastor told of walking away from people who he now looks back and realizes he could have helped...but at the time it seemed too much to deal with. I love it when pastors are honest about being real people and not holier than thou types.

One of the best things that I think were said out of the whole thing was this:
"It is far easier to be GOOD than it is to be COMPASSIONATE."

First of all, I think there are a lot of good people who don't love themselves enough to be able to love and be compassionate towards their neighbors...

Second...I think being good is easier to pull off as we were taught good/bad, right/wrong from birth. Compassion is so much harder to come by because if you weren't shown compassion by any growing up then how are you to know how to be compassionate towards others? Also I think a lot of us were raised (including children today) with expectations set higher than can be achieved with little compassion or leeway if those expectations are not met. Insert here why a lot of people have trouble loving themselves...vicious circle I tell ya!

Third...I realized (especially after looking at point #4 below) that I am pretty darn compassionate. My therapist may beg to differ as she would say I am more of a "rescuer" because it makes me feel good to help everyone else with their problems and not focus on my own (see point one about loving yourself first-ha-you following me...Bueller?)

Finally...the definition of Compassion is: Deep awareness of the suffering of another coupled with the wish to relieve it.

Anyway its always a good pray for those around open your eyes to the way you can affect people. To realize that everyone suffers a bit in their own way. To understand little old me or you can have an impact on those around us just by reaching out. Even if it is rescuing. :)

I was always taught in Baptist like church digs to lead by example. To radiate God's love in your life so that others will want to learn more about God just by the way you live. Not by beating the bible over their heads. I am not always good at leading by example. Oh lets be serious, I pretty much suck at it. Which is why I seriously pray every day to be a good influence on those around me. As much as I know God knows my heart and yours, I am still a believer in the Good Samaritan and the impact that being compassionate can have on someones life. It may not lead them to have a relationship with God, but it will allow them to believe that there is good in this world.

And the Bible Beater thing...well I probably just beat down the Bible a bit too much for some right here...I will pray that everyone can read this with an open heart. I have said it before and I sure will say it again...I am by NO means a perfect Christian and my relatives are very correct in saying I would be going straight to hell on a turbo jet rocket if God wasn't a forgiving God. Thank God! :)

Saturday, July 10, 2010

A Little Bit of Chicken Fried...

...Cold beer on a Friday night, pair of jeans that fit just right, and the radio uuuuuuuuP! Oh yes, I heart this Zac Brown Band tune. And I didn't want to. Too twangy. But I heart it. Especially the part about a pair of jeans fitting just right...cause there is NOTHING better now is there?!

Last weekend we headed to northernish Indiana where my in-laws live (ahem, excuse me...where Grandma Principal and Grandpa Menard reside) for some Independence Day fun. Although we did NOT have Chicken Fried, we did have a LOT of food (breakdown below...yes it was THAT noteable) and it was really too hot for beer to stay cold so instead we consumed other forms of alcoholic beverages. :) P-Daddy has 2 brothers (ahem, Uncle Badgeman and Uncle Stinky) and they came along with Aunt Ricky and Rae Rae for a whole family affair of fun in the sun!

Grilled chicken tacos
fresh guac
a whole turkey was cooked for lunch meat
hot dogs and bratwurst purchased from a fancy butcher shop (only reason I mention this is that a. it was the best hot dog I have ever had and b. apparently this is due to the fact that it was a "no filler" real dog..hmmm, oh and...mmmmmm).
the biggest Cowboy Ribeye Steaks I have ever seen
Cheesy Potatoes
Baked Mushrooms
Salad (of 2 different varieties)
grilled garlic bread
Cherry Pie
Apple Pie
Peanut Buster Bar Dessert (JD was not present)
Green Beans
and a whole pork shoulder was also slow cooked but it really was not consumed...

...Needless to say I came home really full.

Oh but I did manage to throw on workout clothes and walg (walk/jog) with Rae Rae one day and walk the city of Rennsy with Aunt Ricky one day. As if it made a difference...

We did manage to squeeze into our swim gear and utilize their pool for some sun and fun. JD discovered that jumping off a diving board is a blast, and that lounging rafts are actually "boats" used for jumping off of, forward and backward somersaults (duh).

Us gals (and JD) also hit up the local farmer's market and a garage sale. No we didn't buy MORE food at the FM, but I totally would have if it hadn't been mostly closed up.

We did not manage to sleep well because it was a slumber part of fun with P-Daddy, JD, and separate the same room. Oh I haven't told you before? Well, P-Daddy's old room in his 'rents home has twin beds and typically we choose to sleep in there. Call it nostalgic for my hubs or call it that we enjoy falling asleep like the people in the 50's did every once in a while (or that there is a tv in this room and we heart falling asleep to tv)...its our room of choice. So we squeezed in another twin bed on the floor this time, which somehow I got the pleasure of getting...and there you have it. Our family slumber party. I wish I could have gotten this shit show on camera somehow because (and I kid you not)...every night of our three night stay I was awakened in the wee hours of the morning to my son grabbing me and getting right in my face saying "I need to go pee." And then he was up at 5am because he heard Grandpa Menard (who chooses to get up that early) and wanted to go play with him. I also came home exhausted...actually, we all did.

But it was a whole lot of fun. Kind of like a mini family vacation. Filled with lots of love and dysfunction.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Dear Mlouise,

This is a fun post I found via OHML and COEX. Very therapeutic. Highly suggest it to one and all.
Dear 9 year old Mlouise,

You are in 5th grade and you just found out you have scoliosis bad enough to be sent to a specialist. This brings a whole new set of challenges to your life, including a not so fun experience with an x-ray technician. I look back at you and wonder how you handled this so well. All of it. I can't believe all that you have already been through in your life, from the FBI to your house burning down while your whole family was sleeping inside, its crazy to me that you were so put together. You get an absolutely AWFUL perm and started to realize that being pretty was something to worry about. You were freaking awesome at softball, although this was one area that you doubted yourself. You shouldn't have because you were great.

Dear 12 year old Mlouise,

You recently found out you have to have back surgery because your scoliosis is so bad. You wore a back brace at night for over a year and your spine didn't stop curving. You are now growing side-ways. Its a great look. Your grandmother just died and this completely rocked your world. But don't worry, because somehow for the rest of your life you will feel her with you. You get back surgery and you rocked it. Grew two inches in a 4 hour time period and now have a cool scar on your back that will be a conversation starter for years to come. You are in show choir and you LOVE it. Your dad has already been to jail and is back again. Your family didn't lose the business and things are starting to fall back into "normal." You start to suspect that your parents aren't going to be together forever. You start dying your hair blonde. I kind of want to go back and give you a big hug. You are cute and you don't think so and you are WAYYYYY to worried about it. You also fret about getting fat wayyy too much. xoxo girlfriend.

Dear 13 year old Mlouise,

You get your first solo in show choir this year and you rocked it. You don't think so though...but I have VHS video to prove it girl. I am so proud of you. You also help your basketball team in ways you never thought you could. You are a bit too caddy to your friends for my own taste...which is too bad but I know it was because you were so insecure. Again, wish I could go back and tell you how fantastic you were. You dyed your hair auburn for a hot second (and have a picture to prove it as 8th grade pictures were the next day)...this was not a good look for you sweetie. You had your very first kiss at the movie theater with your boyfriend watching "So I married an ax murderer." That boyfriend would go down in history as being one of the kindest. That break up was way too brutal for 8th grade though. You wore a white dress with white panty hose to your eighth grade graduation that you purchased at DEB.

Dear 16 year old Mlouise,

A lot has happened in three years! You are driving a sweet teal Chrysler Lebaron convertible...and you love it. You are on the dance team, something you cherish and are thriving in show choir. All of the sports you grew up loving have gone by the way side and you have officially become a girly girl. Your parents get divorced. This doesn't come as a surprise but is so dysfunctional that you change as a person. You wore your heart on your sleeve before and now you bottle everything up inside. I so wish I could go back and tell you NOT to do that. I so wish someone in your life would have realized how badly you just needed a hug. You become your brothers rock and your relationship with him grows in ways you never thought possible. You get accepted to every college you apply to. You don't get into Butler University's singing program. You do get into Butler. You are so excited to LEAVE Dvegas.

Dear 19 year old Mlouise,

You LOVE Butler. You are a sophomore/junior in college already...time sure does fly. You are dating the man you THINK you are going to marry. Turns out you are really wrong about that but learned a whole lot about relationships and yourself. You are in a sorority but most days regret making that decision. Although your greatest friends are a part of it and I am positive that is the only reason you stayed. You smoke a LOT of cigarettes. Its how you deal with most anything stressful (and lets be honest...goes hand in hand with the large amount of cocktails you are consuming). Your mom lives in California and this is cool and devastating all at once. Your dad dates a woman you loathe so going "home" is hard. You throw the biggest millennium New Years party Dvegas has seen. You didn't have fun though. Wish I could have told you to have fun! You are a bit more secure with yourself but in general you still worry way too much. You have great friends. Ones that do give you hugs when they suspect you need one.

Dear 21 year old Mlouise,

You became a fair queen and handed off your crown already. It was fun for sure, but you didn't believe in yourself enough. I know it is because you didn't feel like anyone else did either, but you should have believed in yourself more. You were a great public speaker and totally could have won the state title. I am glad you didn't though. You officially graduate from college and officially find yourself BROKE. Your friends all left the city after graduating. You didn't. You got the worst job ever and hated going every single day. You barely paid your bills. But you are strong woman. You do pay them, you do go to work (most days), and you do look for something better. You are dating the man you will marry and he is and has been the best thing to walk in your life. Ever. You don't worry so much about anything when you are around him. Turns out that landed you a bit chubby for a while but turns out he loved you anyway. You find your dream job. You find yourself a bit more too.

Dear 23 year old Mlouise,

You are engaged, and about to be married to P-Daddy. You are a homeowner. You are freaking rocking out at your job that you LOVE in ways many never thought you would. Your mom has remarried and is living in Tennessee now. You go on your first real cruise and learn how to play blackjack and roulette. These are skills that carry you well throughout the coming years as you will work mostly with men who like to take manager trips to casinos! You marry the man of your dreams on the hottest day of the year in a big ole church with no AC (with many other blips including a HORRIBLE DJ that people still laugh about today) and yet it still goes down as one of the best days in life thus far. You take lots and lots of vacations and go to places you never thought you would. You become Catholic. This is the most confident you have felt, maybe ever, about everything. Life is really good.

Dear 26/27 year old Mlouise,

You are a manager now and are working on a commercial construction design project that you love. You are a homeowner for the second time as you and P-Daddy have already sold and built a new home again! You are pregnant with your first child and you kind of hate it. Pregnancy hasn't been awesome to you as there have been a lot of trials. Two of your best friends are pregnant and as much as you want to love this, it isn't as fun as it sounds. You start to feel the most insecure you have in a LONG time and you aren't real happy about that. You quit your job because you think you are moving to Cincinnati for your husbands job but it doesn't happen. You lose your management role because of this. I want to go back and tell you that its all going to be okay and work out in the end. Because it did. Just not the way you ever thought it would. You plan your first wedding and realize in the mean time this may be something you want to pursue full time. You train for a mini marathon but are too freaked out to run it. You are the most sleep deprived you have ever been in your life and yet are still functioning (sort of). You deliver a healthy baby boy who rocks.

Dear 29 year old Mamalouise,

You kind of can't believe what you just wrote above. Its been a great life so far. Even with all the stuff. Because all of the stuff. You are really happy to be sitting here writing on this beautiful day about how far you have come... how many times the road of life split off and somehow you have always ended up on the right path. Your husband really is one of the best gifts that God sent you. You look at your son in awe most days because you cannot believe that you made him and how much he is like you (loud mouthed, opinionated, stubborn...all of the qualities I heart! :). You worry a lot and I want to tell you to stop. What you worry about is out of your control and you need to have more faith in God, take a few more deep breaths and pray. You have recently just fallen into a dream job and are grateful. You have really started to love yourself again and take care of yourself. You think all the time about what a gift this is. Your mom just moved back and this rocked your world a bit. But in such a good way. You are excited about the big 3-0 and what this next decade in life will bring. You are good at asking for hugs when you need them now. Life isn't exactly what you thought it would be, most days its better.