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Archive for the ‘blessings’ Category

Feeling thankful

Austin Texas pt 1 075

I feel very blessed right now and realized that I usually think about the things in my life that bother me. It’s time to focus on what I’m thankful for. So here are the things I feel thankful for today:

  • An amazing husband. I can’t take him for granted because I know what it’s like to wonder if the right guy will ever come along. (He did.)
  • A loving son. Rhys is so happy and loving. He makes everything in my life better.
  • Our own washer and dryer. Seriously. Using the laundry facilities in the dorms at UT Austin has helped me realize how spoiled we are.
  • Family! Some of my family is going to be driving for many hours tomorrow to come and see us. We are so excited.
  • The fact that God is taking care of us financially. We had some setbacks recently, but I know we’re in good hands.
  • Living for a month in downtown Austin. I love taking Rhys for walks on campus and being so close to everything.

And that’s it for today. I’m going to try and pay more attention to the many wonderful things in my life and will report back. 🙂

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So it turns out I don’t have gestational diabetes, which I am thankful for. After hearing everything my sister has to go through because of it, I’m very thankful. I still don’t have a side shot of my pregnant belly, but it’s definitely growing. (I’ll save this for another post, but I’m just wondering: why do people feel that it’s ok to tell a pregnant woman how big or small she is? It’s not ok, so don’t do it!)

In other news, John and I recently got the best deal at a yard sale. I’m so impressed with our haul that I had to share a picture. We went to a yard sale right at the end, and the lady had TONS of baby boy clothing. And they were all name brand items (not that I care about name brands, but they were quality items). Anyway, she gave us a big garbage bag and said it was $10 to stuff the bag full. So we did. Here’s what we came home with:

crafts and yardsale finds 017

We already had clothing for under 12 months, so we focused on the 12 month to 2 year clothing. We ended up with:

  • 2 jackets
  • 12 pairs of socks
  • 8 hats
  • 11 pairs of pants and jeans
  • 6 pairs of shorts
  • 22 shirts and onesies

All that for $10. I was proud of our find. Our boy is practically set for clothing until past age 2, and we have so far only spent $10. I feel very blessed.

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How do you deal with stress? Some people thrive on it, accomplishing more and getting energized by it. Not me.

I am one of those people who cannot handle an overabundance of tasks to do at once – I freak out and simply withdraw from life for a while when that happens. I can accomplish only a limited number of things per day, so when my lists gets too long, I freeze up and get nothing done instead.

We moved to a new apartment on Saturday (Hooray! We finally found sub-leasers to take over our most hated apartment), so this week has been filled with cleaning, unpacking, calling utility companies, and extreme back pain. And then throw in a bunch of church stuff (Relief Society calling). In short, I’ve been stressed.

But this time I’m trying not to freak out. I’m just doing what I can do. And I’ve been struggling with some personal issues, so I’m trying to treat myself with care and realize that I’m ok the way that I am. For now, this is all that I am and all I have to give to the world, and that’s ok.

My heart also hurts for friends and family who are dealing with struggles of their own. Life can truly be hard, and I wish I lived closer to them to be more of a support and help. I can only send my love and prayers and trust that they are strong, amazing people and can make it through the tough times.

Take a minute to count your blessings today. We all have more than we think we do. I’m going to try and be more grateful for mine.

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I wrote this post a LONG time ago and forgot to post it. But here you have it – how I met my husband:

Jamie had a really great post about how she met her husband, and she invited everyone else to post their ‘how we met’ story. So here is mine.

My story is different from many ‘how we met’ stories. It wasn’t in high school. It wasn’t even in college. I was twenty-nine when I met John. I had spent a lot of years meeting guys and going out on several hilarious and/or horrible dates with some of them. (Maybe I’ll recap some of them sometime. Because I had some funny ones.) I can’t say that I was an expert at dating, because boy was I ever NOT! But I knew what kind of guy I wanted to find, and I knew I’d know it when I saw him.

The year was 2004. I had decided on New Year’s day that 2004 would be the year I got married. I posted a quote by Gordon B. Hinckley that pointed toward the kind of guy I was looking for, and then I decided to just be and live my life. I adopted a zen-like attitude toward love — I would let each dating situation be what it was, and not expect more or less than that. I decided I needed to open my heart to possibility.

Anyway…on to the meeting part. John and I were in the same ward at church. I can’t remember the exact date of when I saw him, maybe March of 2004, but I know the feeling I had. I knew I wanted to get to know him; it felt inevitable that I would.

And then he and I both ended up at the Cheesecake Factory with several mutual acquaintances. He was the only guy there among a bunch of girls. At first, we were too shy to talk to each other, but when we did talk, we hit it off. We had both traveled, we both had interesting stories to tell. We had ‘flow’.

So woman of the new millennium that I am, I invited him to attend a lecture given by Ursula K. Le Guin. He turned me down. (Okay, he had a good reason, but still.) And then we both participated in a church activity, and afterward I got invited to hang out with people at an ex-boyfriend’s house. I didn’t want to go, but when I heard that John would be there, I couldn’t resist.

And John couldn’t resist me, obviously. He finally plucked up the courage and asked me out in June. We went with another couple to an astronomy lecture at the library (which actually turned out to be a lecture on extraterrestrials — we laughed so hard), went to In-N-Out Burger, and then played games. The other guy ended up kissing me on the cheek, which surprised me (it was part of the game).

Long story short (too late!), John ended up being in the position of dating me and another girl simultaneously. But I knew about the other girl and she knew about me. For reasons that will someday become clear to me, John couldn’t decide between the two of us. The other girl is great, don’t get me wrong, but we’re talking about ME!

This is the point at which my former self would have lost all nerve and self-esteem and give up on him. But I had commited to the zen-like attitude, and I trusted that what was right would happen. So I let our relationship be what it was, though I wasn’t quite sure what it was from day to day. Mostly we were friends, and we hung out and got to know each other.

Until the day that he chose the other girl. I know, right?! I was sad, but not overly. It was what it was, and I accepted that. But that didn’t stop me from getting to know another guy friend in the meantime. And dating the other girl didn’t stop John from still trying to spend time with me and flirt with me a little. So…I wasn’t that worried.

A week after he chose the other girl, he realized his ginormous error, and came back to me. I considered saying “no way — you had your chance,” but once again I kept my heart open, and I gave him a chance. Three months later we were engaged, and four months after that, we got married.

So I didn’t end up getting married in 2004 like I planned, but it was awfully close. And meeting John was the best thing that ever happened to me. We connect on so many levels, and he is my soul mate.

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giving thanks

This new church assignment I have (I work with the women’s organization) is taking up MUCH more time than I thought it would. I did nothing but church stuff today.

And in some ways it’s a good thing, because when I’m serving other people I don’t have time to worry or feel sad. But at the same time, I’m feeling overwhelmed and I don’t want to burn out. I’m not sure how to balance everything in my life…I just don’t want to have a meltdown.

So I’m really looking forward to taking Thanksgiving day off and spending the day with family and friends. We’re driving to Rome, Georgia to have Thanksgiving dinner with a friend from college and her family. It will be nice to get away and not think about work or church or anything else.

And if I don’t come back to my blog before then (which is likely), I want to say how thankful I am this year. We’ve been blessed in so many ways since moving to Georgia, and I haven’t focused enough on those things. I’m thankful that I’ve been able to pursue my dream to be a writer. I’m thankful for a husband who encourages me to follow my dreams and loves me no matter what. I’m thankful for new friends and old ones. And I’m very thankful for all the experiences I’ve had that have changed me and helped me grow.

Happy Thanksgiving.

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I found my passion

The upside of being unemployed is that you have copious amounts of time available to you. My former self would have wasted the time feeling sorry for myself. But this time I’m taking advantage of it and doing what I’ve always wanted to do – write.

I started my blog Evolving Blueprint, (which many of you have supported – thanks!) and I’ve also been writing more than I’ve written in a long time. It seems that the more I write, the more I have to say!

I also sent in writing samples for two freelance writing jobs yesterday. I was very proud of myself for that, because up until recently, I was too scared to try it. But if I don’t try, I’ll never achieve my dream. So I’m going to continue to write and send out samples.

I know I’ve found my passion, though, because I write every day and I never get tired of it. I love it, and I’m excited about it. I do wish I had a full-time job so that we could have more income, but I’m so thankful I’ve had this time to discover my passion. That makes it all worth it.

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Isn’t it interesting how some people come into your life and you connect in such a way that you know they’ll always be a part of you? And you never know ahead of time who will become so important to you.

My coworker Heather is one of those people. I didn’t even really know her for several years that I worked at ASU, and I don’t remember how we became friends. But once we did, I just felt a connection to her. She is genuine and kind, and a person whose integrity I admire. She is someone I aspire to be like.

We went to dinner tonight, the last time I’d be able to sit down and chat with her. As I drove home, black clouds covered the few stars visible in this city and a dust storm partially obscured my view of the road. Emmylou Harris’s achingly sad voice sang, Pancho and Lefty. And my heart hurt and I wanted to cry.

Sometimes this move across the country doesn’t seem real at all, but tonight, it does. Why can’t we take everyone we love with us? Why does embracing new opportunities and friends always mean letting go of other ones? Not that moving to Georgia means completely losing the friends and family I already have. But you know what I mean. It won’t be the way it is now ever again.

I’m thankful I got to know Heather and the many other people who have made my life better just because I know them. Will our paths cross again? I hope so. Because otherwise this goodbye would be too much to bear.

–hj

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