Bek's lab

"Sometimes it's best to get your walls knocked down, lose your most cherished constructs, and be fully swept away." --How to Live at the Beach, by Sandy Gingras

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Location: Kailua, HI, United States

I'm a stay-at-home momma to 2 little ones, military spouse, and distributor for Young Living, cooking up new DIY recipes for house and home.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Heartbreak for the Future

I am sometimes surprised by my reactions to things or events that happen in my life. Sometimes things don't bother me like I think they should, or I laugh at something I didn't expect to be funny. In the last couple of weeks I've been sorting through the physical remnants of my past...dolls my dad brought me from around the world, birthday cards, pictures, my old barbies. I've been on a mostly pleasant sentimental ride. It's really made me want to reconnect with people I've moved away from. And I even found stationary to do it on! I found all those memories I can't wait to share with my kids someday.

Have you ever had something you wanted to share with your kids someday? Some special toy or vacation spot or maybe just a memory? Something you loved so much when you were young you just could wait to share it? It made you feel special and everyone was interested in what you had for once. One of those things for is my pointe shoes from ballet.
Isn't she lovely? I always thought those dancers were so glamorous. So graceful and beautiful. I started ballet when I was in first grade. A year after I quit I regretted it. I even took a ballet class in college. As a child, I couldn't wait to get those point shoes to be a real ballerina. I had to wait until ballet 5, before I could get them. Our teacher made us wait until everyone was 10-years-old (it was a foot development thing). I remember my mom taking me to get my shoes. I remember the first class where our teacher showed us how to lace them up. I remember that recital. My little sister always wanted to try them on, and I never wanted to let her. In fact, every little girl who's seen them since then has wanted to try them on. Is there a girlier thing to pretend than ballerina? Even the most tomboy of all those little girls was drawn to those shoes.
Even though I am a bit of a pack rat, keeping those shoes wasn't like keeping old birthday cards or postcards. These had meaning. These have a destination. They will someday be dress-up clothes for my little girl (or my niece.) One day she'll come running in asking if she can wear my special shoes...well, not anymore!
We had stored my things in my parents garage. A few of the boxes were apparently, not sealed up very well and they had a little rodent visitor a couple of times. Yep, you see where this is beautiful shoes are destroyed. One shoe is wearable, but the other, over half of the satin is missing and the toe block is damaged. It is the only thing in all the boxes that is flat out ruined. A few other things have a little damage, but nothing so extreme. There I was, sitting on the floor, holding what's left of my toe shoes, balling at 2am. I felt a little silly that I was so upset, but I was absolutly heartbroken. My hubby woke up to go to the bathroom and heard me. "Are you ok, babe?" ... ::sniff, sniff:: "I'm ok..." I didn't even really know how to explain why I was sad at the time. I even got emotional again telling my mom about it...and a little bit again now! I thought I was composed enough to write about this now.
Of all the crap I threw out in the last couple of weeks, I chose to keep the point shoes. I still can't bear to part with them, even though they are useless now. I don't know what the point of all this is. I just wanted to get it off my chest, I guess. It makes me sad, but I see the silliness in it at the same time. Something so seemingly minor just broke my heart. I guess I just wanted a little confirmation that I'm not so silly. Thanks for listening!

Monday, January 22, 2007

Stressors and Coping

Last weekend, my husband and I drove up to my parents' (yes, we can do that now!) to retrieve my stuff. Well, some of our stuff too, but mostly my stuff. They had nearly everything I childhood memorabilia, decor and furniture from my 2 bedrooms (home and college), wedding gifts and decor, a washer and dryer...everything!
So, when I say we got "my stuff" I mean LOTS of stuff. I have to admit, I'm a bit of a pack rat and I spent last week sorting through my life. It was very overwhelming having all these boxes stacked in the "dining room" in our apartment. I've had various stacks of stuff throughout our place...things to go in the storage shed, boxes to go to the trash, wedding stuff, stuff to go to was such a mess! We also had one issue after another hooking up our washer and dryer. After 3 trips to Home Depot, mopping up 3 floods in the laundry room, and emptying the washer by bucket twice, we finally thought we'd finished. Oh, wait. Nope! The supply isn't giving us any cold water, so we can't actually wash anything but towels. I did get a work order put in today for that. I also managed to break one of our champagne flutes from our wedding while I was handwashing it at 2:30am. It was a long week!

Friday, I decided I needed a break. The mess, on top of everything, was really getting to me. I got rid of all the trash and consolidated boxes and went out! (I still haven't finished all of the baby doll and yearbook boxes yet, but I at least have things organized.) I hit up one of my favorite stores...Hobby Lobby. If you don't have one near you, it's sort of like a ware-house-ish mega Michaels, with a lot more home decor. I had found a few places in my home that needed a little something (I know, amist all my stuff, how could I think 'I need more'). But I was in search of specific things for specific places. For example, the flowers for this vase...I also decided I wanted to make curtains. I've been pretty crafty since, I guess my senior year of high school. I was getting ready to go to college and decided I wanted to take all my friends with me, in the form of pictures. Frames were getting expensive, so I decided to start making my own. I decorated mattes and glued the backs on 3 of the 4 sides so I could slide the pics in and out, then, attach a string or magnet to the back for mounting. Since then, crafting has been a big hobby of mine. I have tried to apply this toward useful things, for the most part, not just nic nacs I'll have to find a place for and dust. This time, I wanted to break out my new sewing machine and give our room a little color. I had seen this trick on Design Remix where they used some branches to make a curtain rod, so I adapted that for my tropical oasis in our room and used bamboo rods. I also tied the curtains on with raffia. I love how it turned out (here's your pic, mom).

I frequently get compliments on the things I've made, but I never really saw the big deal. I think the real key is not talent so much as it is inspiration. Mosaic an old tabletop to spice it up--you can get tiles in any color and design it to suit your own decor. Get a cheap frame at a discount store and glue on overlapping buttons, or shells you've collected from the beach, or puzzle pieces in whatever colors you like (I find Tacky Glue works best). Get a shelf in unfinished wood from a craft store and paint it or stencil it or even stain it. Find a fun margarita glass or mason jar (they're starting to have fun summery cups out at places like Walmart) and add a couple drops of food coloring to melted parafin wax to pour a fun candle (wicks are available very cheaply at any craft store).
I guess I have always been blessed with a can-do attitude and have just played around with things to figure out a way to make it happen. You can do it too! You don't have to be a knitter or a scrapbooker to do something fun and crafty. I hope I have inspired you to try something new, maybe with the kids, this weekend, because, like I said earlier, I think the inspiration and idea is the key. Happy Crafting!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Fat and Happy

I'm finally back! I didn't realize it had been a month since I last wrote. I hope everyone had great holidays. I know we did!

We got moved in here in Florida just in time to get all the boxes emptied and leave town again. My hubby and I had our own private Christmas the night before we left town...the first of 3! We spent about 5 days with my family over Christmas in Atlanta. My mom has all the pictures, so if you wanna check them out, see here. We really had a great time. We spoiled my 3-year-old niece, pigged out on good food and holiday goodies, went shopping, and watched football in front of the fire. I haven't been able to spend time with my family since my wedding, if you can even say that. It was a very busy time, but it was all of us in one place for a couple of days. It's a rare occasion and every time it happens we wonder how long it will be until it happens again.

Hubby and I left my 'rent's a couple of days after Christmas and headed to FL to see his family. His mother had the stomach flu on Christmas, so it worked out nicely to postpone it a little. Although she was still a little worn out, and his dad caught it while we were there, we managed to get a little QT in. We've spent time with them more recently, and his only sibling, an older brother, also lives in town, so we hit them both in 1 shot. Those gatherings are a little easier to come by than my family assemblies. We had a very nice time eating leftovers, going to the movies (A Night At The Museum was great!) and watching even more football.
For New Years, my hubby and I, along with 7 other friends rented a condo at Cinnamon Beach (Palm Coast, FL) down between St. Augustine and Daytona, for the weekend. We had beautiful weather, even eating dinner outside across the street from the Spanish Fort in historic St. Augustine on New Year's eve. It was so nice to spend time with a group of friends again! We played jenga, watched "Best of Saturday Night Live" dvd's, cooked a HUGE breakfast, played football on the beach (well, watched the boys play, at least), and rung in the New Year with good friends and cheap champagne. You can't beat that!

We were gone for less than 2 weeks, but as you can see we crammed a lot in, as usual! We've done quite a bit since we've been back too. I had a nasty cold for the rest of the week after we got home. I didn't feel like doing anything but laying in bed. I have since mostly recovered with only a slighty stuffy nose and occasional cough lingering. Thank God I didn't get that stomch flu! Since then, I think my hubby has had the most exciting day one can have, aside from marriage or the birth of a child!
First of all, we donated his 94 Buick before we left TX. We've been saving up for a new car that we can start a family with. So, once I started feeling better, we hit the lots. We tried to hard to play it cool..."we're looking to get into something in the next month or so, so I can get back to work and back to school..." Saturday we found it. THE car. We knew it when we left. But, we walked away. The guy was amazing about it, actually. He said, "ya know, tomorrow's Sunday, a lot of the lots are closed. Go look around without being hounded by a salesman." He didn't even ask for our phone number. We took his advice, and did a little more consumer report-type research, but we knew we'd found it. But Monday ended up being his big day. He started the day with his first day back to work at his new training wing. Got the tour, met the people, all around easy day. Then, when he got home, we went back to the car lot. Walked away with a 2006 smoke gray Nissan Altima, special edition (my hubby's never bought a car, period, let alone had such a nice new one. He's SUPER psyched! I'm sure I'll have pic to post of him and his new toy soon.) We got a good deal, lots of warrenty left, and had a very plesant experince.
We immediatly left the dealership, dropped one car off at home, then headed to meet up with some of his fellow University of Florida alumni. Yes, that's right, he went to UF! Heading to the game he said he didn't know what he was more excited about, the car, or the game, or starting work! The game, of course, was super fun. He is almost the definition of a superfan. He doesn't paint his face or anything, but he knows all the players by number, where they're from, and all their recruits for next year. He's very enthusiastic, to say the least. He is also a HUGE Chris Leak fan (that's the senior QB who hasn't exactly gotten great press in his career, even though he's a solid qb. He's just not fantastic.) Hubby's been complaining that not only the gators, but Leak hasn't gotten their due from the media, and he's right. Well, they earned it this time! Leak had a near perfect game, as did everyone else on the team, heading up a shocking 41-14 victory over undefeated Ohio St, lead by Heisman winning QB Troy Smith. It was pretty fun to see the entire world of sports journalism backpedal simultaneously! People had been saying maybe Michigan deserved a rematch and that Ohio was going to blow them out, and were proven VERY wrong on both accounts. It's always fun to root for an underdog (did you see the Boise ST game?!?! My fave of the year!!!). It's also nice to see a team who is just clicking on all fronts to come out on top. It seemed like every player on the team was on his game, was focussed, and was doing his job well. And besides all that, it was our home team!

So, we end the holiday season, and begin the new year full of good cheer, good food, good memories, and very, very happy! Hope you're were good as well! Next mission...finding a job!