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WillWorkForPaper

Member Since August 2008, 6 forum posts, 21 public projects

Location: Southern Indiana

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Year Long Challenge

This was not my idea. A friend told me about it.  I think it started with Becky Higgins, I don't know. Don't care. It's a great idea.

Every day in 2009 I'm going to take one picture to represent that day. I bought a cute-as-heck 8 1/2 x 11 binder at Target today, and some plain ol' page protectors. I took my first picture today, January 1st, 2009. Actually, my co-worker Shannon used my camera to take a picture of me making a sample at work. Now, it's going to be WAY too much work to actually scrapbook each and every photo. I'm going to just kind of travelogue them. Each picture will be printed in a nice small size, say 2x3, and I will put several pictures on each page. I'll just slap them on here and there, scribble a little something next to each one about the day or the photo subject, and if I've got the time and the inclination, maybe even play a little. Stamp something here, stick something there. Just for fun. But nothing too elaborate.

Since I've declared 2009 to be my make-up year (making up for the crap that was 2008), this wll be a great, therapeutic way to track how this year is going. And a great way to document my life.

I'll even let the boys help sometimes. =)

Join me?

1/1/2009 7:54:41 PM | Comments (0) | Send a Message (PeaMail) | Vote for this Blog Post

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Acting Like Someone Else

Over the past year, I've slowly been becoming a different person. I hope a better person. I don't want to change who I am, but I do want to make improvements.

I've changed the focus of my faith (I should say I've grown a faith). I went from being a Catholic who went through the motions and didn't understand a thing about God to finding a new "Christian" church and getting to know Jesus. I actually read the Bible now. I try every day to do the things that God expects of me. I pray for my enemies. I thank God for what I have, and ask for his help with everything that's hard for me. And I put lots of effort into being the best mom I can be.

Today, I approached a stop light and saw a man standing there with a cardboard sign. Without giving it a second thought, I started digging in my purse and found $7.00. A five and two ones. For a moment I considered giving him the ones. But I quickly changed my mind and rolled down the window as I approached. He jumped and ran for my car, thanking me and saying, "God bless you." His sign said something about trying to get home. I could have given him all seven dollars, but I was headed to the Dollar Tree to get toothpaste and batteries. I didn't need the other $5.00. Of course, I have bills to pay and food to buy and gas to put in my car, but at least I'm not standing at an intersection trying to find a way home.

For all I know, he could have immediately left that intersection and went to a liquor store. But I really don't think he did.

"Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares."  Hebrews 13:2

 

12/28/2008 10:29:49 PM | Comments (3) | Send a Message (PeaMail) | Vote for this Blog Post

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No Christmas Photos

I took not one single picture this Christmas. Not one. Earlier in the season I had made a sample mini-book at work, using a house-shaped chipboard book. It was a "First Christmas in the New House" book, and I must say it was very cute. I personalized it with the year and my boys' initials, and as soon as we sold out of the book, I took the sample home so I could put my own Christmas pictures in it.

But I didn't take any pictures. Why? What could possibly keep a professional scrapbooker from taking pictures of her children on Christmas morning? Depression. Ugliness with the ex. Sadness over my dad's failing health. A whole bunch of little things piled on top that made this the worst Christmas I've ever had. There was absolutely nothing about this Christmas that I want to remember later. Nothing.

And that's okay. We can't all have perfect, happy, joyful Christmases. Not all the time. Maybe in a few months I can sit down and make a scrapbook page without pictures that tells the story of this Christmas. Maybe. Or maybe I can just pin my hopes on next Christmas being so good that it makes up for this one. Maybe I'll take a lot of pictures next year.

12/28/2008 10:10:39 PM | Comments (0) | Send a Message (PeaMail) | Vote for this Blog Post

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I Should Be Scrapbooking Right Now...

I've got the entire evening to myself. The kids are at their dad's and won't be back until tomorrow night. I'm off work tomorrow. The laundry is caught up. The rest of the housework can wait until tomorrow. I've got approximately 543,930 pictures still left to scrapbook.

So why am I still sitting on the couch? Because it's cold outside, and even colder in my basement, where my scrap studio is located. Because I'm wearing fleece pajamas and lying under a fleece blanket. Because I worked all day and then went to the gym, and I'm tired. Because I have precisely 9 scrapbooking magazines on my nightstand that I haven't had time to crack open yet.

It's mostly because I'm tired.

12/23/2008 9:34:54 PM | Comments (0) | Send a Message (PeaMail) | Vote for this Blog Post

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"Merry" Christmas?

You should know before reading this that I work retail. So I have a biased view of the holiday shopping season and it's inner workings. I also work in a mall. Double endemnity. I have a piece of flair on my facebook page that says "You don't scare me. I worked Black Friday." But the craziness of Black Friday was nothing compared to the final days before Christmas.

Today, the final Monday before Christmas, we were way busier than a normal Monday any other time of the year. Okay...to be expected. What gets me is not the hectic work pace, the jumping from register to register and running all over the store to grab things for customers. It's not the running out of gift card envelopes or seeing the stack of fives and ones get smaller and smaller. No, what gets me is the increasing level of crankiness. As a customer, I always used to make it a point to be finished with my Christmas shopping prior to the general craziness, preferably by Thanksgiving. I wouldn't be caught dead within a ten mile radius of a mall after the turkey came out of the oven. But then I had to go and mess that up by getting a job in retail.

Now I just take a deep breath and understand that it's going to be crazy. I'm going to have to sit in traffic a little longer to get out of the mall after work. I'm going to have to stand in line a little longer to make my own purchases anywhere. I have a greater appreciation for a simple "thank you" or "have a great day". I absolutely LOVE it when a customer tells me to have a Merry Christmas (not a happy holiday), and I wish it back with great enthusiasm. I appreciate it when a customer is patient with me when the register is operating a little slowly due to the heavy volume. A smile and eye contact is wonderful.

What I don't get is why some people insist on taking their bad day and/or bad attitude out on retailers and other shoppers. When you're out shopping, ANY TIME, not just at Christmas, here are some ways you can ensure that you do not make Customer of the Year:

Throw or drop your items on the counter.

Never look directly at the sales associate.

Never smile.

Mumble.

When asked if you would like to be on the coupon mailing list, make a face and say, "No."

If the store is out of something you want, remember that in all likelihood it is directly the fault of the sales associate, and be sure to take it out on her.

If you "just have a question", by all means, interrupt the sales associate while she's ringing another customer up.

If the store has three registers, and the first two are manned by associates, stand in front of the third register. Even if there are lines at the first two. If you stand there long enough, another associate will magically show up, clock in, and start ringing you up ahead of all those other people.

There are so many more ways to make life harder for retailers and their other customers, but we must take baby steps.

In the meantime, try this instead. Say hello. Smile. Say thank you. Wait your turn. Let someone else go ahead of you if they need to. Understand what's beyond your control and anyone else's. Say "Merry Christmas." If you want to go all out, do something really nice for someone, just because. Buy them a Starbucks. Pay the extra $1.76 they can't find in the bottom of their purse. Give them that coupon you're not going to use.

Did I mention that you should say, "Merry Christmas!"? 

 

 

12/22/2008 5:19:57 PM | Comments (0) | Send a Message (PeaMail) | Vote for this Blog Post

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This Christmas Might Not Suck After All

For 37 years I experienced storybook, Norman  Rockwell-esque Christmases. School plays, special clothes, gifts for teachers, Christmas music on the radio, Christmas cards, put up the tree, up before dawn, rush to the tree, rip open the presents, take lots of pictures, go to Grandma's, get more presents, eat yourself silly kinds of Christmases.

For the past year, I've been dreading Christmas 2008. Christmas 2007 was the first bad Christmas I've ever had. The spirit wasn't  in it. I sensed way down deep that my husband had one foot out the door (and I was right), and it just didn't feel the same. I've had a year to prepare myself for what I assumed would be the worst Christmas ever. Not only do I have to play Santa all by myself, but I don't get to spend the entire day with the kids. And my dad is battling cancer. Naturally, no matter how well he's doing right now, we all can't help but wonder.........So, how can this possibly be a good Christmas? Especially when compared to all the wonderful Christmases past?

But this promises to be the best Christmas yet. Because this year, I actually know, for possibly the first time in my life, why we celebrate Christmas. How can a Wii Fit or a laptop or a Crayola Color Explosion Glow Board possibly compare to the gift we all received over 2000 years ago? For the first time in my life, I understand the true meaning of this holiday. Two thousand and nine years ago, Someone knew that I would be here today, having the toughest year of my life, and that I would need Him more than ever. So He sent His only son as a gift for me and for everyone else. To save us. To make all our sins and all our troubles irrelevant. To say, "I love you, no matter what."

I'm going to make sure that my sons truly understand the point of all this on Christmas Eve 2008. They will not merely rip into presents and revel in commercialism. Sure, Santa's going to come, but my boys will not be thanking Santa for everything. We're going to take time to thank God, and to say, "Happy birthday, Jesus!"

Merry Christmas.

12/21/2008 11:31:02 PM | Comments (0) | Send a Message (PeaMail) | Vote for this Blog Post

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The Value of Friends

I've been through a lot in the past year and a half. A LOT. The worst time in my life started with my husband (whom I'd been with for 20 years!) suddenly announcing that he didn't love me anymore and had someone else. The bad times train rolled on through the next year and a half until its most recent whistle stop: my father's diagnosis of terminal cancer. Through all of it, I have relied on family and friends to help me out, hold me up, cheer me on.

It wasn't until very recently that I discovered something. When I was young and struggling with everything a teenage girl struggles with, my mom would boost me by saying things like, "You are so smart and beautiful" and "They're just jealous." I never took her seriously, though, because she's my mom. She has to love me, right? Of course she thinks I'm smart and beautiful. Of course she thinks everyone who hates on me is just jealous. She made me. I look like her. I sound like her. She's proud of me. It's second nature for her to love and support me, to worry about me.

You know what, though? My friends don't have to love me. They don't have to support me. And they certainly don't have to worry about me. But they do, and I love them for that. I've read so many things over the years (mostly cheesy chain emails) that describe the beauty of friendship among women, and I always deleted, deleted, deleted...rolling my eyes the whole time. But now I know first hand how valuable a girlfriend can be. I have friends who worry about who I'm dating, who help me paint my house, who want to go out and have fun with me so I don't sit at home alone on nights I don't have my kids, who email me to tell me they are praying for me, who make me feel welcome at a new church, who listen with compassion to every negative thing I have to say, and who cheer for me with every positive thing I have to say. And who never, ever tell me that I shouldn't feel the way I do.

I would never survive without the love and support of my family, whom I also love beyond measure.  And I also wouldn't survive without the love and support of my friends. More friends than I thought I had before everything fell apart. Women who are there for me. I never understood the concept of one woman loving another woman in bonds of sisterly friendship.

I do now.

Thanks, girls. You know who you are.

10/6/2008 9:31:26 PM | Comments (0) | Send a Message (PeaMail) | Vote for this Blog Post

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Waiting

My whole life has been spent waiting. 2008 has been the worst year of my life, and mostly because of waiting. Waiting for divorce papers to be signed. Waiting for my kids to come back three hours late from a weekend with their dad. Waiting to fall asleep because I can't stop thinking. Waiting for test results. Waiting for the electricity to come back on after a storm (six days!). Waiting to meet Mr. Right. Waiting for Mr. Right to realize that he's Mr. Right. Waiting for Dad to........

I would love to wake up in the morning and know exactly what to expect out of the day. To know that my day is going to go as planned. That things will happen when they need to happen. That the supplies I need at work will be there so I can get my job done. That traffic will clear for me, just for me. And that he'll call tonight. Just for me.

But there is a waiting that's good. Waiting for God. Waiting for Him to hear your prayers. Waiting for Him to answer them. Waiting for Him to put His plan into action. And waiting to discover it.

He knows what's best. I'm waiting to find out what that is. 

9/29/2008 12:39:05 AM | Comments (1) | Send a Message (PeaMail) | Vote for this Blog Post

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I Love Naps. Naps Are Good.

Remember when you were a kid, and your mom tried to get you to take a nap, and you resisted with all your might? What was up with that?

I love naps. I took a three hour nap on Sunday. I took TWO naps yesterday. I'm going to take one as soon as I finish typing this, since I don't have to be at work til 2:00.

I stay up too late at night, and have to get up early to get the kids off to school. That lost time in the land of Nod has to be made up somewhere. Making it up in the car is not a good idea, especially when you're driving. I cannot make myself go to bed earlier. I'm just a night owl. I like to stay up late and sleep in late. Unfortunately, sleeping in is problematic, because of silly things like kids and a job and stuff. So, I stay up til midnight or 1:00 am, doing things like balancing my checkbook, washing clothes, scrapbooking, talking on the phone with a boy....then I get up early, drag the kids out of bed and start my day. Sometimes I fall asleep on the couch right after supper. Sometimes I get to go back to bed after the kids get on the bus. Sometimes I'm too busy to make up that lost sleep. Do I go to bed earlier when that happens? Nope. Somewhere around 10:00, I always get this burst of energy, and that's when I'm the most productive. Sometimes I have to force myself to go to bed at 1:00, no matter how tired I am. Then when I do lie down, I stare at the ceiling for a while and think, think, think.

Naps are awesome.

9/24/2008 8:43:10 AM | Comments (0) | Send a Message (PeaMail) | Vote for this Blog Post

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Soccer Mom ?!?!?!?

On Thursday night I officially became a soccer mom. How did this happen? Thank goodness I don't drive a minivan. No offense to the minivan-driving soccer moms out there, but it's just not my idea of cool.

I was a SAHM for eight years, and I did drive a minivan at one time, albeit reluctanctly. As a mother, it's always been my goal for my boys to be able to try anything they want to. My oldest has tried almost every sport out there. He's been bad at almost all of them, as well, but I give him tremendous props for going after it. His favorite so far has been wrestling. And now he's taking up orchestra. My youngest is just starting with all this stuff. At his very first soccer game, he made a goal. He absolutely loves it.

I've taken my boys to the zoo too many times to count. The Louisville Science Center. The Louisville Slugger Museum. The Fraser Museum of International History. The Speed Art Museum. The library. Holiday World. Actors Theatre. Etc., etc., etc. I try to expose them to every facet of society and culture. To show them all the possibilities.

On the other hand, I also believe two things. 1) Children today are over-scheduled. 2) Parents tend to forget that they have a life as well.

When I was a kid, my brother and I could disappear on our bikes for hours. Mom had no idea where we were, and didn't worry about it, either. We tried a few things in school, but our lives were not defined by hectic after school schedules where we couldn't even sit down to eat as a family. We built forts in the basement, formed clubs, and knew every kid in the neighborhood. I can't stand it when the boys have so much going on that we're still up at 10:00 trying to get homework finished. I don't remember ever having to stay up late to do homework when I was kid. And newsflash to the school: Single working moms cannot make it to a 3:30 volleyball game!

While I absolutely love being a mother to these beautiful, intelligent, sweet boys, they are not the be-all and end-all of my existence. I am a mother, yes. I'm also a daughter, a friend, a manager, a sister, a citizen, and one seriously fine woman! LOL My life cannot and will not be defined by motherhood. When they're in school, who am I? When they're asleep, who am I? When they're at their dad's house, who am I? And who are they when they're not with me?

The kids need time just to be themselves, and so do I. Aidan plays soccer. I'm his mom. But I am NOT a soccer mom.

9/6/2008 10:44:46 AM | Comments (0) | Send a Message (PeaMail) | Vote for this Blog Post

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