Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Tales of a clumsy girl.

It doesn't take being a close friend of mine to know that I have a bit of a clumsy streak in me.  It feels like I'm always dropping things, spilling drinks, tripping over the floor, or miraculously injuring myself.  Even as a little girl, I was the one who got the biggest warnings when walking into rooms of wet paint or when putting out the ceramic holiday decorations.  I have become so good at dropping things, that I no longer drop them on my toes because as soon as I let an object go, I immediately shift my feet out of the way so my toes don't get smashed.  Seriously, I do.  I'm that trained in the art of dropping things.  My poor husband just about has a heart attack every time I hold his camera!

May I share with you a couple of stories from the "miraculously injuring myself" category that have occurred in the last 9 days that have pushed me to the brink of writing this blog post?  Ok, pay close attention!  Last week Monday, I was using a mop and cleaning the floor.  As I was pushing the mop forward, away from my body, I somehow dropped it.  Despite the fact that the mop was no longer in my arms, I was "mid push".... so my arms didn't get the memo and were still pushing forward with a lot of pressure.... which somehow caused my left hand to jab my right hand.  No big deal, right?   Wellllll, that morning the finger nail on my wedding ring finger broke and was rather sharp and pointy.  So naturally, the sharp and pointy part of my finger nail was the point of contact that hit my right hand WHICH then caused me to cut the palm of my right hand.  Like, it was bleeding.  I made myself bleed, which really isn't a big deal either, except that I am a massage therapist by profession and cuts on the hand are a big no no.  I was so impressed with this particular feat of clumsiness that I ran over and was like, "Josh! Josh! Look what I did!  Isn't that kind of impressive?" I had outdone myself!  It was quite a hinderance during each massage last week and very annoying.  Needless to say, I was excited when I noticed it was finally healed on Saturday.

Fast forward to today, I was unhooking my bra.  I've done this at least once a day since 5th grade, you know?  And as I was unhooking it, my left hand (again) somehow slipped and gouged little bits of skin out of my right ring finger and my right pinky.  I quickly assessed the damage, hoping that I didn't draw blood, but of course... I did.  This time, my nails weren't even sharp, they were perfectly round thanks to a lovely manicure with my mum.  (Update: these little gouges are taking way longer to heal.  It's been almost a week since I wrote this post and they are red and swollen and infected and are making giving massages way more difficult than they should be!)

So the point of the story is, there are many ways to be reminded of my lack of perfection, it's true, but the fact that I can be quite clumsy is a constant reminder.  I just honestly don't know how to stop the clumsiness (Hence #25 in my "25 in 25" post)  and found these last two incidents particularly irritating...

Sunday, January 16, 2011

25 in 25

Here are 25 goals I would like to accomplish while I am 25 years old.

1. Cook one great meal a week (I tried to change this to "plan more meals" but Josh wouldn't let me. ha!)

2. Write one letter a week.

3. Take a class.

4. Run a 5k in under 30 minutes without feeling like I want to die.

5. Go to a great concert (Coldplay, NKOTB and BSB, Civil Wars again)

6. Play my violin in a recital

7. Raise all of our financial support for living overseas.

8. Go to Hogwarts (aka Universal Studios.  But in my mind, it's really Hogwarts)

9. Write a guest post on another blog.

10. Go to a blogging conference.  (Preferably Blogher, I think)

11. Find a mentor.

12. Memorize more Scripture.

13. Learn as much of the local language of where we are going to live as possible.

14. Enjoy more meals with friends and family- in our home and theirs.

15. Exercise at least twice a week. (That may not seem like much to you, but it would be more than I'm doing now!)

16. Practice my violin at least 3 times a week.

17. Read a book on marriage (I'm open to suggestions!)

18. Read three classic novels.

19. Take vitamins every day

20. Floss

21. Have a booth in a craft show with friends.

22. Play my violin during worship at our church.

23. Simplify. Get rid of excess.  (Excess clothes... excess books.. excess belongings)

24. Plant a little garden that has flowers, herbs, and vegetables.

25. Be more organized (less forgetful and lose things less) and more graceful (less clumsy).

Monday, January 10, 2011

Thoughts on Marriage: Discovering Myself.

I've been having this feeling, recently.  This feeling that, if given the chance to redo our wedding, there are so many things I would do differently.  To name a few: My hair, my dress, my veil, the wedding DJ (Those of you who attended our wedding I'm sure would agree with me about changing the worst wedding  DJ ever part) I know they are ridiculous thoughts, and when I really think about it, our day was perfect and I wouldn't want to change anything.

But why am I even having these thoughts?  Is it because I dreamt about what my wedding would be like my entire life, and it's a hard habit to break?  Maybe.  Is it because my veil caught on fire when I set it on a candle on the head table when I wanted to start dancing?  No, although that was disappointing (I still have the remains of my veil... I am just that sentimental) I think the real reason stems from the reality that in the last two years, I really feel like I have discovered more of who I really am.  What my likes and dislikes are.  My preferences.  My interests.  My flaws and weak areas.  

 Knowing that I am completely and wholly loved for exactly who I am by Josh and by God has allowed me to discover exactly. who. I. am.   There is such a freedom in being loved completely.   Freedom to try things that interest me.  Like learning to play the violin.  Freedom to wear clothes that I love and feel amazing in.  Like the lovely little vintage number I wore on New Years Eve.  Wearing something like that was a risk!  I felt a little silly, even.  But Josh sure thought I looked great, and he knew how excited I was about the outfit, and his love was enough to make me feel like a 40s bombshell all night.   Or how about my panda hat?  I mean SERIOUSLY people.  I wear that thing everywhere.  It's ridiculous.  But I don't care because Josh thinks I look cute and it's warm and that's really all I need.  Really.  Or how about exposing some of my biggest flaws and mistakes in life to the teens in order to hopefully, somehow, redeem those happenings and prevent the girls I care so much about from making the same errors?  Sure is nice to have the freedom that Christ brings, flaws and all, in moments like that.

So, despite my heightened awareness of who I am causing me to realize a couple of things I think I would have liked to change about our wedding, I don't dwell on those thoughts for very long.  After all, everything about our wedding was an expression of who I was at that moment.  and as I continue growing as a person and discovering new things about myself (the good and the bad), my tastes and the ways I express myself will continue to change and evolve.  The only thing left to do is celebrate and love the person God made me to be in each season of life, and continue on the path of self discovery.

"It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.  Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yolk of slavery" Galations 5:1 

Saturday, January 8, 2011

25th Birthday.

Well friends, it's official.  I'm a quarter of a century old!  Yikes!  Turning 25 forced me into a lot of internal reflection, and I've decided that I've had an excellent first 25 years of life.  I realized that the first 1/4 of a lot of peoples lives is really crappy, and they have to spend the last 3/4 of that life trying to make up for, redeem, and stop the cycle of the pain that was inflicted on them during that time.  With that in mind, I am so thankful that my parents worked hard to give me a great life thus far, setting me up so that the last 75 years of my life (I am optimistically aiming at 100 haha) will be successful and joyful.  

Anyway, I LOVE birthdays.  They were always a big deal in our house growing up, so I'm thankful that Josh has learned that, and acts accordingly and appropriately when my big days come along :-)  (Because he's really not a big birthday celebrator like I am haha)  This year was extra special because he put together a little birthday surprise and completely fooled me.  Completely.  I thought we were going out to dinner somewhere fancy that had reservations.  But on the way to the restaurant he was all: "Ok Leslie, I have to confess, I waited too long to get reservations at the fancy restaurant I wanted to take you to and they were booked... and then I tried to call another fancy place with live music and they were booked so now we aren't going any place fancy... but you'll still like it... it's just not what you were thinking and I feel bad so I had to tell you".  Being the understanding and flexible wife that I am (ha), I didn't care at all.  We were going out for my birthday!  I knew it would be fun.

So, we pulled into the parking lot at our destination and we were at Texas Roadhouse, where we went on our first date.  I thought it was a super cute idea and they have great food so I was pretty excited.  But then he took like 5 minutes to park because he found this one spot that he just had to have.  It was a squeeze but he kept trying, while I was pointing out other spots ("so hey, what about that one right there?  Two spots down?")  After the fact, I realized it was because he didn't want me to see anyone else's cars haha.

So we walked in to the restaurant and the hostess says, "Just the two of you?" and I said "Yep!" and then Josh said, "Well no, actually, McCracken".  She then goes, "ohhh ok, are you with the large party?" (Silly girl.  Silly, silly girl) and that was when I knew Josh had planned my first ever surprise birthday party celebration!  I turned the corner and almost started crying because so many of my friends had come out to celebrate with me.  My blogging friends Emily and Cortny even came, Emily from Ann Arbor and Cortny from Lansing!  Isn't that crazy?  They were just here last weekend and they drove ALL THE WAY back to this side of the state to be there.  I couldn't believe it. 

Several highly amusing things happened during dinner.  First, as we were waiting for our food, all of the waitors and waitresses started coming our way clapping and singing a birthday song so I thought, "Oh gosh here they come..." which is what you would've thought too, right? Right. So I decided to embrace the silliness of the moment and in a very excited way started clapping along... only to have them make a sharp turn to the left and completely ignore our table and sing "Happy Birthday" to someone else!  I laughed so hard I almost started crying because it was so ridiculous and kind of embarassing but mostly just completely ridiculous hahaha.

When dinner was over, they finally came over to sing to ME.  Except they brought this weird saddle thing that I had to sit on (side-saddle, like a lady of course!) and then they sang me a birthday song.  Our waitress asked me my name and how old I am now (I replied, "Leslie, 25) and she then yelled, "ALRIGHT EVERYONE, WE'RE GOING TO SING LINDSAY A HAPPY BIRTHDAY SONG! READY? GO!"  and I started laughing.  Again.  and so did everyone else.  When will I ever get out of my big sisters shadow?!  (Just kidding Lindsay!)  It was hopelessly funny and I felt so sorry for the girl who had no idea how embarassed she should have been at her mistake.

After dinner, Brian and Kyrie came over to our house to finish out the night.  I was so happy to get to see my twin brother on our birthday, since we didn't get to last year.  Several other friends also came back, and we played a couple of rousing games of Apples to Apples to finish out the night!

Also, if I may share a few more little things with you.  I was blessed with so many creative, fun gifts this year!  The best kinds of gifts are the ones that say "I love you" and "I know you".   One gift in particular I'm saving for it's very own post (Thanks Suzanne!)

Josh gave me a beeeautiful locket.  I have been wanting a locket for a while, they are just so elegant and classic and meaningful.  He picked this one out for me on Etsy and it's perfect! I love how the clasp is also a lock and key.  Perfect.  He even put a little picture of himself in it :-)

Joshua also got me this 5 year journal.  Each day of the year has a simple question on it to answer.  Questions like: "The best part of today?" or "Was today typical? Why or why not?" Over the course of 5 years, I will be able to look back at my answers from each day and see how they compare with the years before.

Emily made me this cute little ipod case!

Braden and Stacy made me Alice's necklace from Twilight.  It's got the Cullen Family Crest on it haha!

My friend Kate found this bag.  She thought it would be perfect for our time overseas.  We won't be able to bring a ton, but this bag folds up so small that it will be easy to carry anywhere, and is big enough that I could take it and fill it at a market or shopping!  Isn't that so thoughtful? 

 I also got cards from my Mom, Dad, Grandma and Grandpa, and Aunt Sue!  It was a day when I felt lovely and loved, and that is a great combination!

Monday, January 3, 2011

New Years Eve

We brought in the new year with a little vintage style.  I swear, one of the best results of the trip we took in November is my husbands new appreciation for fashion and lookin' good.  Mmmm Hmmm!

The prettiest Mom in the whole world!

Kenny and Nicole :-)

Brother and Sister in-law being super cute.

Oh I just love getting dressed up!  Especially because of the great finds I was wearing.  My skirt is from etsy for $15 and my shirt is from an antique mall for $1.50...

....the vintage obsession continues!

Happy New Year everyone!