Thursday, April 28, 2011

Fever Pitch

I've never been much of a runner. One of the many reasons I feel like a social outcast in the stay-at-home mom community. I've tried really hard to love it but I just....don't. On January 1, 2005 Blaine decided that he would run the St. George marathon that October. He wasn't much of a runner either. I sent him out on his first run with a big pat on the back and an enthusiastic "you can do anything you set your mind to Honey!!". He hobbled back heaving and ho-ing about five minutes later after having made it about half a mile.

He persisted though and his runs became longer and easier for him, until he was consistently running several miles a day. That summer we had the opportunity to live in Portland, OR (which ranks #2 on my "Places I Want to Live" list, right behind Round Rock, TX). Throughout that summer I would sporadically try to run. It usually didn't go well and would turn more in to a leisurely stroll.

Rarely did Blaine and I go running together because, well, what was the point? He would run at a much faster pace than me and he would actually, you But one day I was feeling particularly pudgy and I decided I would do my very best to go on a run with Blaine. I loaded Gwen up in the jogger and we were off.

It was sunny and warm, the scent of pine trees wafted through the air. I was at the top of my game. We started out kind of together but eventually, and you may want to sit down for this part, I got ahead of Blaine.

Now I had never actually gone running with someone and gotten ahead of them before. I am usually panting and puffing and clutching my side, urging for the sweet release of death. This feeling of leading the pack was absolutely invigorating. I found a strength deep within myself that I hadn't known existed before. I ran and I ran and I watched Blaine grow smaller and smaller in the distance. I had never felt so alive.

Now you might think that maybe Blaine wasn't trying. Oh, he was trying. I could tell. He looked how I normally looked during runs. Once we got home I went on and on about how wonderful I was, I had really shown him who was boss.

And that's when he nearly collapsed. And that is also when we took his temperature and saw that he had a 104dg fever. And then spent the night in the Emergency Room. Yeah.... that explained a lot.

And that was the last time I went running.

Zumba anyone?

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Seek First to Understand

I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity of working at Franklin Covey for several months right after finishing high school. I truly loved the job. It was a typical post-high school job, I took inbound sales calls. The beautiful thing though was that my shift was from 5AM-9AM every day. Being done with work by 9AM? That was something to rejoice about. Going to bed at 8PM though...was social suicide, but that's beyond the point.

One of the perks of being an employee of Franklin Covey was getting the chance to attend lots of seminars and things that other people had to pay hundreds of dollars to attend. For all of the seminars and motivational reading material I received there's only one thing that really stuck with me, "seek first to understand and then to be understood." I think that's one of the seven values of highly effective people, or something like that.

Even through my numbskull teenage head that phrase seemed profound. I made a concerted effort to apply it in to my daily life, and it's been my go-to wedding shower advice for nearly a decade.

It served me well when we were first married and Blaine was really really late getting home from work and I was worried (and we shared a cell phone - the horror! - so I had no way of contacting him). I was borderline call-the-police worried when he finally walked in the door. It's funny how as soon as you know the person you were worried about is safe that worry can turn in to anger real quick. Turns out he had stopped to help someone (or given someone a ride home and then stopped to help someone, something very selfless and kind), and I was sorry that I hadn't sought first to understand before I verbally assaulted him once he finally came in the door.

Anyway, I think it is a wonderful motto, seek first to understand and then to be understood.

Blaine just got home last night from a four day trip to Boston. A lot of yelling rang through the halls of our home while he was gone. Turns out single parenthood is emotionally taxing. And for some reason, completely beyond my scope of comprehension, I decided that while Blaine was gone would be a good time to dejunk Gwen and Bentley's room. After a very tiring day of sorting, cleaning, and dejunking I got to the last drawer of Gwen's dresser. And it that drawer, I found this...

*shudder*. What the WHAT? My mind raced thinking of how I had one time found an entire measuring cup full of sugar in her closet, all the candy wrappers I had found behind her bed, all the distrust she has earned recently. I assumed it was probably a hunk of cheese she had squirreled away to eat after bedtime and then forgotten about.

I took a breather, before berating her about sneaking food I decided to just try to seek first to understand. I asked her what it was.

Her response? "Your Mothers Day present!"

Boy did I feel loved. But then she continued, "remember a few weeks ago when we had pineapple with *salt on it and you wanted another piece but it was gone? I saved a piece for you to give to you for mothers day!".

Ahhhhh. See! Good thing I hadn't yelled at her, right? It was a sweet gift. I mean certainly what I want most of all for Mothers Day is for my kids to stop fighting for even just ten minutes, but a very close second is a moldy piece of pineapple that had been squirreled away with utmost care, remember it truly is all about the little things.

Happy Mothers Day, may you receive gifts as thoughtful (though hopefully not as smelly) as mine!

*Am I the only person who salts my pineapple, my husband and children think I am a such a freak show, but it is so much better that way!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Tutorial Tuesday

I mentioned a while back on facebeook that I was considering applying for a blogging position. I was really excited about it. I would love the opportunity to earn money from home while Blaine is in school. Well, I never applied. The main reason is because the blog was a homemaking blog. And that's great and all, since homemaking is my full time profession, but...I'm no good at it. As Kayla once noted, I write about the black eyes of homemaking, the epic fails. To be frank, I am kind of tired of that, of being the person who can't do anything.

I mean, I've tried photography. Fail.
I don't dress well. At all.
Can't grow a garden to save my life.
We all know that my handyman skills are dire, and that's being generous.

Everyone who is anyone (or at least anyone who is a stay at home Mom in the Mormon community) is good at something homemakery like. Take for example a small case study of my friends. We've got the photographer, the gardner, the fashionista, the crafter, and finally the decorator/crafter/entrepreneur extraordinaire; it kind of begs the question...what am I contributing to the world?

Well that's about to change folks. I present to you my first first do-it-yourself tutorial.

See I noticed the other day that the bottom of my stools were kind of scratching the wood floor. I knew Laurie, Kayla, Meleah, Ralphie, Janssen et. all would be able to solve this type of problem on their own, using their mad homemaking skills. So I figured it out by myself and took pictures along the way, so I could contribute.

Be edified my friends.

Homemade Floor Protecting Mittens

by: Kristi

First you will want to gather your needed supplies. I decided to repurpose all of the socks from our mismatched sock bucket.

Now, take the sock and place over the leg of the stool. Like so.

When sock is completely over stool leg...

Get a rubber band. Any kind will do. For this project I chose one of Ivy's hair bands.

(that's sparkly blue nail polish from the Easter Bunny, it looks really gross in this picture and I'd be lying if I said it looked better in real life.) Now, be careful here to not snap the rubber band. I found that doubling the elastic around twice, to make an 'x' pattern was very visually satisfying.

And voila! Now not only have you added to the warmth and loveliness of your home, accented your decor (and the random piles of laundry hanging around), but you've also protected your wood floors. And it didn't cost you a dime.

Go and feel validated in your homemakery my friends. I feel like an official crafty Mormon housewife now. Whew!