Archives for category: 1 of 300

I am a good writer.

As my friend Heidi put it, I’m “clear and compelling.”

I’ve loved to write from an early age, and despite my struggles with properly identifying grammar, I know when to use what parts of the English language to make things work. Thankfully, I had a teacher in 7th and 8th grade that understood this and encouraged me to keep writing, despite my so-so grades during grammar quarter of the year. I may not know what a gerund is, but I know how to use it!

When I was in high school, I wrote 30 articles for the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, mostly movie and concert reviews, interviews with artists and other teens on various topics, and other lifestyle pieces. I also blogged for Unplggd.com for a year, 3 posts a day, 5 days a week. Unplggd is an Apartment Therapy site, focused on home technology, and we had to come up with the topic, research it, find the related picture and links in addition to writing the posts. Writing for Unplggd was on top of a demanding full-time job.

I have done it for pay, but it’s also part of my nature. I believe that if you have the ability to write, you have a way of managing life in all of its great and small times. Writing gives you the ability to reflect, to process and to bring clarity.

I have also used my writing to sort through what really matters in my life, often as a written prayer. If it isn’t worthy of writing down in a prayer, it’s not worthy of my energy outside of the prayer either.

Writing has opened many doors for me, and turning a phrase into the perfect prose to match its intention is truly urbane and uplifting.

Pic by the trial, found on flickr.

My eyes.

I’ll have to move on from the physical in this journey soon enough, but I also want to appreciate what I’ve got in my body because it goes with me everywhere on this journey.

My eyes are a steely blue, sometime grayish, and sometimes bright blue, often changing based on the light and what I’m wearing. They really are the window to my soul, but that has more to do with my handling of my emotions than my eyes, but I consider it a benefit of my eyes.

😉

DJ backlit by streams of lightI’m a good DJ.

Most of my friends now probably don’t know this about me, but I rock at DJing events. I was a complete last resort for my brother, who owns his own DJ business, desperate for help because he couldn’t do a wedding on his own (and didn’t have the number of friends to call on back then, he was still in high school). He said I would be bossy (I was the bossy older sister, usually) and that I wouldn’t be strong enough to carry the equipment. I was quiet, let him tell me what to do, used the muscles I had been building in college and kept up. I made good suggestions for songs based on the feel of the crowd, and learned from him. I had a knack for feeling out the crowd and could pick the songs that made everyone want to keep dancing.

That sealed the deal, he loved me. My brother used to pay me to come home from college to help him, and if I tried to bug out, he’d up the ante, nice guy that he is. He eventually said that all he needed was trained monkeys to set up the equipment and then I’d do the DJing for him, and he’d be set!

Occasionally I’ll pull out my skills as opportunities arise–like briefly on New Year’s Eve–though often not long enough for people to know what I’ve got.

But I’m looking forward to the next chance I get to be the DJ.

Pic by BryanSereny from flickr.

My hair.

I have been blessed with amazing hair. You might look at it and think, sure, that’s nice hair, but what’s the big deal? Well, it’s fine but there’s a whole lot of it. It’s really straight, and takes a cut extremely well, so it doesn’t just hang there. And with a good cut and a little product, it takes only a few minutes to style and look great. Show it a little love, and it gives it back to you in spades.

Katie and Melanie embracing in a hug on her wedding day

My hair on the left, and my friend Melanie on the right. Isn't she a beautiful bride?

It’s hard to wax poetic about my hair, so I’m going to keep this one short, but know that I like my hair.

View from the summit of Mount SneffelsMy determination.

I’m only 7 into my 300 and I’m finding this hard; not the coming up with things (yet), but continually putting myself “out here,” especially when I feel the way I do today…like sinking my teeth into an overly frosted cupcake would make life better, but I know it’s only really because I’m extra addicted to sugar at the moment, and bloated from Aunt Flo’s visit. A shower would help too, but the plan was to take one after taking my girls to the pool; hubby didn’t think that would be a good idea because it is so cold tonight–probably one of the coldest of the winter here in Minnesota–and it was already after dinner at that point. I haven’t really talked with an adult all day, save for a few minutes of meal planning for this weekend with my dad (‘rents are coming to visit this weekend). I suck at motivation lately because I stay at home with my girls, and frankly, who ever really feels motivated to do housework or cook, at least day in and day out? Maybe if you’re a BO (born organized) person, you do, but I don’t. {And if you have any housework motivation tips, please share!}

But I’m not going to give up so quickly! I’m going to email some friends shortly, and let them know about my project here, so I can help build momentum and support. And then I’m going to go to sleep at a reasonable hour so that I can get up and get ready for my ‘rents visit (i.e. clean, clean, clean!).

I know how important this journey is and will be to my overall mental and emotional health. And if I give up, it will be like so many other things in my life I’ve given up on, which were ultimately about giving up on myself (at least those that would have been worth continuing). I’m not giving up on my marriage despite extremely large past bumps, I’m not giving up on parenting because they whine a whole lot, or because we didn’t have the perfect start to our life together. And I’m not giving up on myself and this project, either.

Oh, I’m not giving up on retraining myself to put only one space between my sentences, as I learned today my two spaces between sentences are extremely incorrect! Please forgive my past transgressions in this regard. Determinedly, I’m working on it. 😉

Pic by ColoradoGuy.com of the view from the summit of Mt. Sneffels, which is over 14,000′, and taller than Pike’s Peak. I have been in this same spot, but my photos are the old-fashioned, undigitized version because I hiked it in 1998.  That took a lot of determination to hike up and to come down–on the way down my group got horrible headaches from the altitude changes. If you look closely, you can see Telluride’s ski runs carved into the center mountain in the background.

Neon phrase reading, "Be faithful to your dreams."

I haven’t given up on my dreams.

That may not sound like much, but trust me, there have been plenty of opportunities and reasons to do so.  But instead of focusing on what those reasons are, I’m going to talk a bit about my dreams, so that I can keep them in the front of my heart even when I have days that give me plenty of those reasons give up on my dreams.

I want to be the mother of a big family, but most of them “not come from me,” as in physically.  I want a house, no, a home, where my children and their friends feel welcome and want to be.  I want to be a Martha Stewart, but a friendly, down-to-earth, sans-the-neurosis one.  I want to regularly throw amazing parties.  I want to head a small web-based empire of information about cool things.  I want to be an amazing example to my daughters and children about being a woman.  I want to be fit and healthy, and in such a way that it’s just part of who I am.  I want to empower people to be their best.  (No, I don’t dream of being Oprah, as much as that last one sounds like it!)  I want to love the majority of what I do to fill my days.  I want people to be a reflection of God’s love so that people want what I have–peace, joy, eternal security–as well.

The pic is one I took recently at Le Meridién Chambers Hotel in Minneapolis.  They have a great little art collection there, just stop in to see it sometime if you’d like, no need to dine or drink there if you don’t want to (but also worth it if you do!).

Electrified jumping dancerI’m willing to make a fool of myself while exercising.  I’m sure there will be other “making a fool of myself” items along this journey, but this one is specific to exercising.  My girlfriend Rebecca invited my cousin Total Nutter* and I to check out Hip Hop Dance exercise class at her YMCA with her.

I knew going in it would be humorous, because I’m not a dance person–although I enjoy it, I am slow at picking up routines–and my friend Rebecca is a dance person.  However, it turned out to be not so bad, partly because the majority of the class was variations on steps I’d done in other aerobics classes, and the bit of routine he taught us, he did over and over, breaking it down into pieces.  I definitely didn’t have the attitude to my moves that the woman in front of me did, but she was obviously more fit and had done this for a while, even if just on the dance floor for fun.

Oh, and the other thing that helped was seeing the Glee episode where Kurt joins the football team and they all do the routine from “All the Single Ladies” before hiking the ball.  Ha!

I made sure not to over do it, so although I could have pushed myself harder in class, I didn’t want to regret it, or make my life miserable.  I knew I’d have to get up with my girls in the middle of the night multiple times, so I couldn’t be exhausted.  I used to be really good at overdoing it, so that was also a success.  Wait, I’d better save that for another #X of 300 item!

{*My cousin is visiting me for 10 days and the main reason I haven’t posted anything recently, ’cause we’ve been too busy out on the town having fun!}

Pic is by garybirnie.co.uk, found on flickr.