Life and Everyday

Joy, revisited



Really? Really?  Really. Is that what joy is supposed to look like? Cuz my joy hasn’t looked anything like that all year long.  Not even one iota close. Maybe wish it had, maybe it would have felt like the earth moved and the world changed a bit for me, yes, for once, for ME! But nah,  it didn’t.

But what did my joy feel like this year?  Was it quiet? Was it rumbling? Was it at least happy? Let me show you a few pics of what my joy felt like…..

nothing like mom and daughter bonding! 


Getting ready to celebrate K’s 12th birthday!
Our new dog, Cooper! 
Messy hair and out to eat! 

These are the celebrations of joy we had. None were really jump out of our skin into the air moments, and I know it’s not all of our joyful moments of the year. It’s just few that K and I have had along the way. I can tell you that there were definitely more joyful moments in the latter part of 2015 than the beginning because big changes happened in the middle of the summer for both of us for the BETTER!!!! Let me tell you, that made a world of difference in the joyfulness of our lives. More on that when I’m on my laptop to type. But for now, more to think on.  What does joy feel like to you? Like that first pic? Or something in between?


Life and Everyday

Pondering Thoughts

When I was little I internalized a lot. I’m sure we all do. It’s human nature to take things people say to heart or to even read between the lines and perceive what they may really think or feel about you.

When I was about 9 or 10 I remember running in gym class. We must have been playing some sort of game or sprinting or something. The gym teacher began to laugh at me. It was an innocent laugh, followed by a “Julie, you just aren’t a natural runner, now are you?”  I heard that again in junior high when I tried out for track and field.  The coach said something very similar.  It continued into high school as well.

I don’t remember being particularly hurt by the comment. I didn’t cry or even care that I wasn’t “a runner.” I just absorbed the statement and assumed it to be true. All through middle and high school I’d shy away from activities that involved running. In high school, I often was late for volleyball practice because I knew the first few minutes was running laps around the gym for warm up.  But I did it when I had to.  But I could play volleyball.

I would love to run now.  That is one of my goals since weight loss surgery.  I still can’t run.  I jog a little.  My left knee is still horrible.  With  no cushioning in the joint, it makes me want to stay away from running.  But……

Anyway, moving forward a few years past school years.  During college, I really loved working with kids.  I thought being a teacher would be amazing.  So my freshman year, strangely enough, we had the chance to be placed into a classroom at the local school to just observe.  The first few days was great.  Then the teacher asked us to help teach.  That is when it all fell apart.  The particular teacher I was with told me after school that she didn’t think I was cut out to be a teacher.  Mostly because I didn’t have the heart to take control of the classroom.  I didn’t have “it”.  Not sure what “it” was…..I felt defeated to say the least.  Going back to my classes at college and having my professor giving me a C in the class was just as discouraging.  Now what?  I am still wondering.

The next trip down memory lane isn’t really a specific moment more like a sprinkling of one particular statement I heard throughout my teens and 20’s. It is one remark that makes my blood boil. Not that this phrase was uttered to me but that this phrase even exists in my collective consciousness.

It’s the dreaded “You’d be so pretty if…” statement. You know the one, right? Tack on any “if” at the end but it mostly involves losing weight or being at a particular size. I heard it in many forms growing up from a whole host of different people. Peers, adults, bosses. The one that sticks in my mind the most happened when I was working at summer camp just after my sophomore year in college.  I fell hard for another counselor.  He was amazingly fun and a great “christian” guy.  But he shot me down with the, “You’d be such a great girl if……”  OMG…are you kidding.   This is a Christian camp!  Broke my heart.  I just worked 2 1/2 months with this guy.  Got very close to him and most of the other counselors just have have this happen.  I wondered if all the other counselors felt the same way…..

I remember wearing swimsuits and raggy shorts and t-shirts (just like everyone else). I recently lost a few pounds (it was the summertime, always a consistent dip in the scale as per my yo-yo dieting cycle) I felt like a million bucks! I did my hair, wearing my staff shirt on that last day, walking confidently as we all were getting ready to leave to head back home or to college.  I, of course, laughed it off.  Now I could give a shit, but that’s much easier to say and mean at 43 then it was at 20.

Let’s do one more memory for humor’s sake. At least I find it humorous. Sophomore year of college was an exciting time for me. Still away from home. I was  smelling the air of independence I longed after for so long. I had no idea what I was doing but I knew I was in the right place.

The year was 1989. Computers were starting to become abundant but college was my first experience using one. We didn’t have the means growing up for our own and my small town school was proud to have the 10-12 word processors for it’s computer processing classes.

Regardless, one of the first classes I took that year was Creative Writing. I was stoked as my teacher was super cool. He embodied everything I thought a college professor should be. He was older, wiser, and very articulate. I really looked up to him. One day, in his office, I brought my little 3.5 inch floppy disk with my latest paper saved on it for a critique (terrified, I should add). I go to put the disk in and it wouldn’t fit. It’s upside down! Now remember, this really is one of my first interactions with a computer. He gives me a little jibe of , “wow, you really are computer illiterate, aren’t you?” I immediately agree and declare myself and techno idiot. Telling him I have no idea how to use a computer. I agree, I must be “technologically challenged” as he put it.

I don’t think my professor’s intention was to define me as a technology idiot but I wonder; If that was told to me when I was just a little younger and more impressionable would I have shied away from technology to the point of me avoiding it completely. And where would I be now if so?

My goal with this post isn’t to sling blame at people in my past for things I did or did not do in my life. It’s more about self discovery, confidence and spreading a message of self-esteem. Have you ever thought about how you define yourselves and possibly how you came to those conclusions. Do we live to others expectations of ourselves no matter if they are negative or positive. How much do other’s innocent words affect our choices and confidence.

I still have been doing some internalizing.  Things my young nearly 10 year old daughter yells at me, those internal tapes have found their way back into my head.  Forward and rewinding over and over.  It’s been really hard to combat all those negative messages.  My goal this week is to combat those negative thoughts.  Either by doing something physical or creative.  I gotta get out there again.

Just something I’ve been pondering lately. Please excuse the extra long wordy post. I felt like writing. 🙂

Life and Everyday

Questions for Sunday – get to know me!!


1. Favorite Holiday Movies/TV Specials? I love to watch the oldies….Rudolph, Frosty, etc.  But I also like Hoops and YoYo Ruin Chrismas…..
2. Do you do any volunteering during the holidays if so what? If not what would you do? 
Well, sort of.  I kind of do those random acts of kindness.  Things that people don’t know about like tonight, cleaning off cars that were totally under snow, just as mine.  I brushed off 4 other cars in my parking lot where I live.  I also leave a plate of goodies at my neighbors every Christmas.
3. Favorite toy received as a Child for the Holidays?
 Any board game….I have an older brother and younger sister and we LOVED to play games.  The Game of Life, Payday, Monopoly, etc.
4. What was your must have item in high school for the Holidays? 
OMG, that was the 80’s…holy crow, I don’t know.  Leg warmers, jeans, hair stuff, anything fun and of course MUSIC!!
5. Item you begged for the most and never got? 
A REAL Cabbage Patch Kid.  I got to make one for 4H, but it just wasn’t the same.
6. What do you do on Christmas Eve? If you are Jewish what does your family do for
Hanukkah?  Well, I don’t really remember when I was a kid.  I think we opened gifts from mom and dad.  Then Christmas day was Santa gifts.  The tradition I started with my daughter is we open one present on Christmas Eve, usually new PJ’s, then read the Story of Jesus’ birth from the Bible.  Then read the book the Night before Christmas.  Then drink some hot cocoa and relax and love on each other.  Put out the cookies and milk….and then to snooze…….cuz she gets up wayyyyy to early.  LOL

Life and Everyday

Musings for the Week


What a week……recap…..

Daylight Savings Time ends this weekend, which means it’ll pretty much be dark as soon as you finish your lunch.

The cramps in my toes would be much nicer if they didn’t happen during the time I was sleeping.  Sleep is good!!

When I was little I didn’t care about things like what to wear, my parents dressed me. Looking back at some of my old pictures, it’s obvious that my parents didn’t care either.  Welcome to the Crop for a Cure day!!  (Scrapping for the Cure)

Halloween is by far the safest day to kill a person and leave them in a chair on your porch or down the street in the neighbors “cemetery”.

When I die, I want to be cremated and put in some silly putty.

Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter have taught us that for every giant technological leap ahead, we will find a way to use it for dumb crap.

Apple crisp is a perfectly acceptable midnight snack, right? I mean, I haven’t had my quota of fruits today, so it seems fitting that I try to work it in before I head to bed. . .

Guess what’s for dinner when mom doesn’t want to cook after tutoring 14 kids at school? ….frozen pizza, cereal, and poptarts. I think we hit most of the food groups, right?

**Despite what I may think, God never gives me more than I can handle.

Life and Everyday

having a time

I know I have been slacking the past few days by not writing.  It’s not that I don’t have time to write, I just haven’t felt good.  I suppose if I wait until I feel good enough to write, we all would be waiting a long time.  I realize that I have done that a lot in my life:  waiting until I feel good enough.  What happens if I don’t ever reach feeling good enough?  Then what?  I would miss out on a lot of things, that is for sure.

What do you wait to do until you feel good enough?  Most days in the past 20 some years, I think I have pushed myself through some of the days even when I didn’t feel good enough.  Both physically and mentally.

Physically, I don’t know why I am not feeling good.  I feel nauseous.  Off and on all day.  I don’t know if it is because I am hungry or rather I need to eat, or if I am just feeling sick.  I woke up today with a stuffy nose and this end of the summer cold thing.  Not liking that either.  The nausea is still there.  I am still trying to take my morning meds too..  That seems to take forever somedays.  LOL  I have come to that point where nothing sounds good to eat, so I don’t.  Then I feel sick because there is nothing in my stomach.  Either way, it’s not good.    I am under 300 now, which is absolutely wonderful.  Haven’t been in the 200’s for a long time.

Emotionally I have been feeling on the edge of tears.  All the stuff with 9/11, remembering.  Add some more remembering of the men and women who have died for us serving our country, more tears.  Then add the fact that my K will be 8 this weekend.  Time is just going to fast for me at the moment.  We were to celebrate her birthday this weekend, but my mom wants to push it out to next weekend.  That is Waldorf Homecoming weekend.  I wanted to go see friends and remember the fun.  I need to go pick up birthday gifts and stuff like that too now.  My list of “to-do” keeps growing longer and longer.

Today is going to be one of those busy days.  I have class at 11, 12:30, and 4pm.  I have an appointment in there at 2pm, then Parent to Parent training at 5:30 to 7:30pm.  I hope I can get home by 8 pm tonight.  I have a church thing tonight at 8 also.  Don’t know if I can go…..I might have to just go to bed when I get home  LOL


Life and Everyday

Daily Blog Challenge – Day 18

Day 18- something you miss
I miss my dad. He passed away 11 years ago this past May. My dad was great man. A farmer forever. He would do just about anything for anybody. He was very dedicated to everything he did. My dad a super sense of humor. We didn’t get along all the time but I sure as heck respected him.

Life and Everyday

30 Day Blog: #3 My First Love

I grew up in the 70’s and 80’s.  Actually graduated in 1988.  Seems like eons ago.  When I was going to high school….there wasn’t a whole lot to chose from.  LOL  I went to a small farming community school.  I think there were a total of 38 in my graduating class that year.  But my first love struck me when I was a sophomore.  His name is Steve.  Of course he was good friends with my brother who was the same age as him.  They were seniors.  Steve was a football player, wrestler, and I even think he was on the track team at that time.  (I would have to get my year books out to see).

This a picture of him I grabbed out of a yearbook… so anyway, memories.  Well I have some really fond memories of him.  Our lockers never were locked.  So that lead to many “love” notes and little things that he put in my locker that were treasures from him.  Awwww young love.

I remember going to prom with him, his senior year.  I am sure I have that picture somewhere around my house as well.  Prom was good.  Dancing to the hair bands and all that.  Even post prom stuff.  But what sticks out in my head about that night was that he had his motorcycle….me in my prom dress, him in his suit….we busted out of Northwood to a little bitty town in Minnesota called London.  We sat on some swings there and just talked until the sun came up.  From London you can see my parents farm….so it didn’t take long to get home.  It was a good night.  Steve is a good guy.  Have no clue where he is now, but I bet he is still a good guy.