Lame Duck Week lives up to name…

Well, this Lame Duck Week has lived up to its name thus far.  I have spent most of the week thus far sitting on the reclining end of my in-law’s couch listening to my daughter play her Animal Crossing on her new 3DS (I’m still amazed that we got this for her for Christmas, but she does truly love it).  I’ve graded a considerable amount, but still have a considerable amount to do.  I’ve dealt with some emails, but still have a ton to deal with.  I have played games with my DD, but still have a lot of game playing to do.  Overall, I have felt sluggish, unmotivated and a little depressed.  But, this is par for the course as a year comes to an end.  I did finish a book last night and I hope to maybe finish one more before the end of the year (I’m close to finishing another).  And last night we went and saw the lights at the local living museum.  So, the week has not been a total bust, but I’m feeling less than accomplished.  This is my DD and her cousin ready to go to the living museum.Ready_for_CALM_lights.

Tomorrow, we are heading to my sister’s house (4 hour plus drive) for our third Christmas (we had ours at home, the one here at my in-laws and now we’ll celebrate with my sister and her husband).  I am unsure how we will fit all our stuff in the car on the way home, but we’ll try to figure it out tomorrow morning I guess.  Tomorrow night we will drive on home and unload the mess of stuff we have from Christmas, do some laundry probably,  attend a New Year’s Eve party at our friend’s home, and then pack again for our family trip to Monterey this weekend.  I am hoping that once my grades are turned in I will feel a little less blah.  I am hoping that the trip to Monterey will be made without my computer, so don’t expect any updates on the blog from me.  I really want to spend the weekend enjoying my family, reading, playing games and just RELAXING!

So, that’s where I am this week.  How’s your Lame Duck Week going?

Six Word Saturday

Six Word Saturday – Lame Duck Week Edition

Lame duck week begins.  2015 ends.

I always am confused by the week between Christmas and New Year’s.  So, I’ve decided to call it my “Lame Duck Week”.  As described by Wikipedia, “A lame duck, in politics, is an elected official who is approaching the end of their tenure, especially one whose successor has already been elected.”  So, 2015 is approaching the end of its tenure and its successor, 2016, has already been elected.

Here’s to 2016!  I won’t expect much from this week, but I’ll be ready to roll when we ring 2016 in on Thursday!

Happy New Year to everyone out there!


Christmas Eve – Stress and Rest

Merry Christmas Eve to all of you out there!  We have had a day that has already gone from stress to rest and it is only 3 p.m. here!  Every day is an adventure around here it seems.


So, my DD being a heart transplant recipient, has to take medicines every 12 hours to achieve a balance in her immune system that keeps her from rejecting this “foreign” object that has been placed in her body.  We were paying relatively obscene amounts of money up until about six months ago when we switched over to what was supposed to be a three month, mail order prescription service that saves us a ton of money (she used to have to have liquid, compounded, specialty meds, but now can take small dose pills/tabs).  It has definitely saved us hundreds of dollars already, but they also can not seem to get our order straight and the problem is always with the one medication that she absolutely has to have every 12 hours for rejection purposes.  This month was no different.  Sigh…But, it was taken care of – we are now getting shipment at my in-laws on Saturday and we were able to pick up three days of pills this afternoon at a local pharmacy.  But, it always stresses me out (although, it was much worse the first time, but this time was made more stressful knowing stores were closing early and not reopening tomorrow for local distribution).

The rest of the day was relatively restful.  Thankfully, since I was up until about 3 a.m. this morning, cleaning, wrapping, grading and such.  I slept until 7 a.m. when my DD came to get to me to ask to start opening presents.  I put the kabash on that right away, but it was a challenge all day.  Tonight we did the stockings (not sure when this became a Christmas Eve thing in our house, but it is) and she opened two presents, both of which she loved.  So, that was good.

I am still grading, cleaning and wrapping tonight somehow.  I don’t know how that is possible, but it is.  I still have quite a bit of grading to do (basically, I have two classes of four graded, but one of the ungraded is the writing class and I have A LOT to grade in that class).  The house is being left relatively clean (unless tomorrow morning destroys it – between opening presents, packing, etc. it could get destroyed quite easily) when we leave.  Laundry is completely caught up (Ah-mazing).  And most of the gifts are wrapped (a few of my sister’s and brother-in-law’s need to be thrown in bags with some paper and the Santa gifts need to be wrapped tonight in different paper).  So, overall, I’m pretty happy with where we are.

And biggest news of the week – my DD has slept in her own bed in her own room all week long!  This has been a long time coming and I still need to sit in the room until she goes to sleep, but she’s done great.  I’m very excited about that!  We are making progress!

Oh, and I started actually writing in my new Erin Condren planner.  It was hard at first. It looked so pristine and I didn’t want to do anything I hated and “ruin” it.  But, I think I like what I’ve done (a post on that in the New Year perhaps) and I’m excited about being organized in 2016.  So, hopefully it will continue!

That’s it for tonight.  I probably won’t write tomorrow – it being Christmas and all and us driving six hours to get to my in-laws.  So, Merry Christmas.  May the gifts be just what you wanted, may the lights be bright and twinkly and may we all find peace in the new year.

Merry Christmas



Getting a Me Message…

So, I’ve been on this “myself” kick with it being My One Word for 2016 and all.  And I feel like I’m really trying to listen to what I’m telling myself and see the messages that are being given to me by me and the Universe and God and whoever else is on my side.  This morning, I feel like a message is being dropped on me like a ton of bricks and it only reinforces what I’ve been trying to formulate in my mind the past couple of weeks.


So, what is this message?  Well, a couple of weeks ago when I was thinking about how to tell my DH and DD what I wanted for Christmas/the New Year was to “turn over a new leaf” as a family so-to-speak, I came up with this way of framing the message.  I told my DD, “I want to be a family that takes care of our things.”  And it seemed to click with her.  So, I told my DH the same thing and it seemed to click with him (he even made the bed and cleaned out his car yesterday!).  It was so simple, but so much more positive than saying what I wasn’t liking about our lives.  So, I’ve been trying to come up with three “core” things – the first is being a family that cares for our things.  I’ve been trying to figure out the second and third.  I know I want one of them to have something to do for “doing for others,” but I have not figured out the phrasing yet.

So, anyways, this morning I came across this article from James Clear and I felt like it was a message that I was definitely on the right track and I need to apply this same positive message to MYSELF.  Who do I want to be as a person?  “If you want to change your life, change your identity,” he says.  And I realized that last night I commented on a blog post that I could relate to her “trying to figure out who she was,” and that I’ve been struggling with my identity for quite a while now.  I don’t know if it is so much changing my identity as FINDING it, but it is key to achieving anything.  “The limitations in your life are framed by the box of your mind.  If you want a new life, then start building a new identity,” the article goes on.  Yes.  I have limited MYSELF in the box of my mind.  I have limited myself by NOT having an identity.  So, that was the FIRST message…

Then, immediately after that, I bump into this article on Mydomaine.com which at first seemed unrelated, but then the opening paragraph says, “…as anyone who has set out to achieve something knows, believing is more than half the battle. Believing can translate to achievement, and that’s some magic right there.”  Yeah, believing you ARE who you WANT TO BE is the biggy.  After knowing your identity, you have to believe you are just that!  And then you can live it.

So, what does all this mean?  What do I want MY identity to be?  How do I start living that identity out as MYSELF?  Those, my friends, are the questions I hope to answer, and answer confidently in 2016!  I’m pretty excited as I feel like this is such a simple, but also complex thing to realize.


Countdown to 2016 – Things I’m Looking Forward To


Well, it is almost 2016.  Ten days left in 2015.  I had forgotten just how badly 2014 ended last year (and 2015 began) – with me losing my voice and my husband needing a molar extracted, all while we were out of town at my in-laws.  Sigh…hopefully this year will end better and 2016 will start with a great family trip to Monterey (already booked – we just need to stay well for it).  I thought I would do a Countdown to 2016 with my Ten Things I’m Looking Forward To in the New Year.  As you all know, I recently changed my word of the year from Grounded (which I still like – and relates to my new word I think) to Myself.  So, I’m going to focus on Ten Things that Myself is looking forward to – starting out with positives rather than changes that need to be made.  I’m looking forward to a spectacular 2016!  So, let’s start the Countdown with (referral links included):

erin condren planner

My new Erin Condren planner!

I have had serious planner envy for a couple of years now.  I tried to win an Erin Condren planner multiple times and once I got close.  But, I ended up with one of her journal items instead.  It was nice, but not a planner.  I just could not justify spending $50 on a planner, or so I thought.  But, because of my recent focus on MYSELF, I really thought about how much I WAS spending on planning items.  I’ve bought apps (anywhere between $.99 and $4.99).  I’ve bought multiple cheaper planners.  Never totally happy with them, but thinking I could “make it work” only to lose the ability to “make it work” and give up on it (anywhere between $4.99 and $12.99, probably two or three a year).  And every single review I see of this Erin Condren planner is a RAVE!  And there are so many people online who have hacks and ways to use the planner and some real ways of maintaining interest and using the planner well.  I figured, I might as well just drop the funds (Christmas present to myself) and get one for 2016.  It should arrive on Christmas Eve before I leave for my in-laws on Christmas Day, so I’ll be able to work on getting some of it filled in while I’m there!  I am very, very excited about it.  I got the Vertical layout out of the three to choose from:

layout guide erin condren

I toyed with the hourly layout, but felt like it was too constricting.  I also got some “Do-it-all Dots”:

do-it-all dots

I have some favorite Erin Condren visuals that I’ve found online (not that I will be able to keep mine looking as good as these, but I can dream!

weekly view pure sugar
Pure Sugar

I like the cover of mine – “Let the Adventure Begin!”  Because this is MY year and it will be an adventure, to be sure!  I will obviously need to get some cute stickers as well.  I already have some colored pens I should be able to use…

erin condren planner used.JPG
Six Word Saturday

Six Word Saturday – New year, New Focus

I can’t believe I’m typing this, but Christmas is less than a week away!  This is going to be a very low-key Christmas.  My hubby works on Christmas Eve and then we’ll drive down to my in-laws on Christmas Day and it will be just us and them for the evening.  My DD is pretty excited about the gifts, but not much else.  I’ve really tried to get her more into the giving spirit, but not much seems to be working in that area.  I have Christmas cards to write and send out this week (some will arrive late, but oh well), but all my shopping is pretty much done.  A few more gifts to be bought at my hubby’s work this week and some stocking stuffers and I will be finished.  We decided on no adult gifts in my husband’s family this year and instead we are doing a weekend in Monterey, which will be much better than any gift anyways.  But, on to my six words…


New year, new focus on me.

I have already started with MYSELF focus for My One Word.  I went out and bought some cleaning supplies I have needed for a while and finally got rid of all the nasty cobwebs in my vaulted stairway.  Why, oh why, didn’t I do this long ago?  It was a $4.99 tool (50% off, but even at full price would have been worth it) and it has already made my house look 100X better.  And it makes me feel better.  I also went to Goodwill to look for a few books that my DD wanted and I bought myself five nice sweaters because I only had a few sweaters I liked and I was getting tired of wearing the same thing over and over again when it was cold.  They are nice sweaters that will be great for work.  I got the five sweaters, three books for my DD and a Littlest Pet Shop toy for $38, which is probably half the price that I would have spent on one of the sweaters (because one was actually new with tags from Macy’s).  We then went to Barnes and Noble and bought my niece three things.  Now, I just need to wrap them and my DD’s gifts and get them under the tree so it looks a little more like Christmas.  I also need to get a couple of more things for my sister and my brother-in-law, but I will probably do that at my DH’s work later this week.

I am already getting my calendar together for the new year.  I ordered a new planner to use and I’ve got my wall calendar started.  I’ve decided to take one day a week for ME – no scheduling anything that I don’t love and enjoy.  So, no work meetings, no dentist appointments – just things I really enjoy doing.  I’m going to try to take that day off of grading/prep as well and I may even try to go without my phone for the most part (only answer emergency calls or something and not check email, etc.).

So, even now, this all seems a little petty and selfish to me.  But, I am tired.  And I don’t feel like my family works as a team.  My daughter tried to “make a deal with me” today about not shopping for her when we went out.  As if she were in a position to make a deal with me about not buying her something while we were out.  And obviously, I did end up buying her something at the thrift store.  But, she definitely made some indications that she thought I was going to buy her something at Barnes and Noble and I did not.  We shopped for her cousin and that was it. But, I’m still feeling a bit like a pushover in this instance.  I love my DD and she is a very loving person, but she is definitely leaning towards some entitlement issues and I want her to be a Giver not a Gimme.   But, my modeling that for her (being a giver to her constantly) is definitely not helping the situation.  I need to be a Gimme sometimes in life I guess.  Even though that seems counterintuitive to who I want to be as a person.

I would love to hear some feedback on teaching my DD how to be more of a giver.  I would love to hear some feedback on how to work on making my family work as a team rather than being codependent.


Five Minute Friday

Five Minute Friday – Choose Your Own Word!

This week’s Five Minute Friday is a little different.  We’ve been given the charge to choose our own word as a prompt!  It is tough.  With so many words to choose from, how do I choose just one. single. word?!?  But, I’ve been given a charge and I will fulfill my duty!


The word I’m choosing is:  MYSELF

I have had a bit of a rough day.  I was tired after yesterday’s busy, busy day (field trip in the morning with my DD’s class, baking cookies for cookie swap after that, then a final exam, then the crazy chaotic cleaning for the cookie swap, then the cookie swap).  I drank a bit of wine, which I enjoy, but often feel not-so-great the next day (even though I don’t drink much – only one glass last night).  This morning I went to my DD’s class again, watched a couple of little plays they have been working on, ran to the store to pick up needed supplies for crafts, came back and helped out a bit, ran home to let the dog in (it was raining) and go buy teachers’ gifts (why I had not already done that I don’t know).  My DD had a bit of a breakdown during the book exchange game because she ended up with a book she didn’t want and the girl next to her got a book she REALLY wanted.  She started crying.  It was embarrassing for me because I feel like she is suffering from a bit of entitlement.  Maybe even more than a bit.  Then I found out that the VTech video camera we got for her this summer had been chewed up by the dog and taken outside, which she knew and didn’t tell anyone.  At that point, I had a breakdown.  It was a $60 camera that she hadn’t taken care of and she just didn’t seem to really care at all.

So, how does this all tie into “myself”?  Well, that’s an excellent question.  But, I think I’ve realized today that I do not consider this concept of “myself” when planning and evaluating my life.  My DD is very good at considering her “myself” right now (6 is a pretty self-centered age it turns out).  My DH is also very good at considering his “myself” when decision-making.  I am not so good at it.  As of late, I am often not even sure what myself would want, so how can I give it what it wants or make decisions to benefit it?  I am so outwardly focused.  I want to make others happy and secure and well-adjusted.  But, I don’t worry about those things for myself enough.

——-that’s time, but I would like to continue a bit…

So, I’m thinking of changing my word of the year I had established earlier.  I’m thinking of changing it to MYSELF.  I haven’t considered myself first in many instances in the last decade or so.  And I’m ready to figure out who MYSELF is and how to do things that make MYSELF happier and more well-adjusted.  I feel like I have to do some work figuring out who I am.  Then, I need to do some work making who I am better and happier and more well-adjusted.

I will need some help from those around me.  I will have to ask for and sometimes I may even have to DEMAND that help from them.  As of right now, I often suffer in silence.  And I’m tired of suffering.

I am ready to put my oxygen mask on and take care of myself in 2016.  I am hoping…no, I KNOW that it will make be a better mother and wife, even if it might be a slight shock to the system for my family.  It isn’t that I plan on NOT taking care of my family – that is part of who I am and hopefully I will get even better at it.  But, it does mean, I will be asking for more help, instituting more systems that work for me and giving myself the same gifts of time, money and fulfillment of needs that I give them.