Beyond Decluttering

I saw this post the other day on Pinterest:

Clutter is no more than postponed decisions at Did That Just Happen Blog

That was powerful to me.

I am always organizing things so that they fit better or that they are more out-of-the-way. I’m a big fan of “Oh look at that container, I could organize so much in there!”

It’s time to stop “organizing” and let go of those items that really aren’t bringing value to my life.

The more you have, the more occupied you are

I’ve been listening to The Minimalists podcast, it’s in the rotation of all my others, but I’ve really enjoyed how they look at life.  It’s not about how little you have – it’s not about saying “I only have 300 items in my house”, it’s more about what you do have and how it impacts you.

I’m learning a lot about how free you become when you remove all of that extra “clutter” in your life – and I know it’s true – I know it is – but I don’t always practice it!

This weekend I did.

Declutter DVD's at Did That Just Happen Blog

It was really hard, but I went through my DVD collection.  Now, I don’t go back and watch these DVD’s very often.  I have access to Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Prime and several other free movie sites – there is very seldom a need to pull out a DVD.  But, I’ve always enjoyed collecting them.  They brought me comfort, in a weird sort of way, so I knew that removing them would be a challenge for me.

And a challenge it was!  I can honestly admit that I didn’t get rid of as many as I wanted, but I did manage to let go of about 100 DVD’s.  Some went home with my sister or parents and some went to a resell shop.

It felt good! I’m not going to lie, I’m ready to go through the rest and really free up space in my house and in my soul!

I have started a donation box.

That’s not new – I donate stuff all of the time.

What’s new is what I put in the donation box.

Declutter phone at Did That Just Happen Blog

It looks like an ordinary cordless house phone with built in answering machine.  It functions like one… although, this guys hasn’t been used in over 10 years.  It has been sitting in my nightstand drawer for over 10 years.

Now, if you guys have followed me at all, you know I did a big de-clutter challenge a few years ago… so why didn’t this phone go? Why was I holding onto this phone?

It has a voice mail on it.  It has a voice mail on it that is pretty darn mean.  It has a voice mail on it that I have been saving just in case. And not a “this could happen” just in case scenario, but a really far-fetched, “there is never in a million years that this situation could happen but just in case it does, I will have this recording” scenario.

I’ve been carrying this phone around with me, just for that one voicemail, for a situation that would never happen.

Today I let it go.

I didn’t just physically let go of the phone, but I let go of the mental and emotional weight that I’ve associated with that phone.

I didn’t realize just how much “attachment” I had to holding onto that phone, not just the physical reminder, but all of the mental and emotional attachment that I was associating with it.

It’s gone.

And you know what?

I don’t miss it!

As I unclutter my life I free myself to answer the callings of my soul

I look forward to making more decisions around the house!  Some people ask “Does this bring me joy?”, but I am liking the “Does this add value?” question.  That is really resonating me right now!

It resonates with me, because I like things neat. So I’ve kept all of these boxes from when we gave up cable and went to internet TV – just in case I move, I have the original boxes to pack things back in.  The reality is, those boxes take up sooooo much space and if I had to pack, I would decide that they take up too much space!  (And maybe I need to be an ambassador for Roku!)  Of course, I still had to text Adam twice and make him tell me that I would be okay if I put those in the recycle bin!

Declutter empty boxes at Did That Just Happen Blog

In my mind, it was worth keeping those boxes in case I moved – but with my new mind set, I was able to say that they don’t bring me any value and let them go.

So what about you?  I know some of you have gone through this recently – any tips or tricks? And how to you manage the clutter at your place? I love knowing what others are doing!

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World’s Fastest Courtship

I’m navigating the waters of the on-line dating pool. It’s been a few weeks now and I’ve perfected the art of  my Invisibility Cloak – and how to pop that sucker on and off in a heartbeat!

What I’m not doing is getting  frustrated at the messages – they are supposed to be a good thing! They aren’t driving me nuts at all!

*Insert eye roll*

Okay, you know they are driving me crazy, but they aren’t supposed to! I am supposed to be happy that they have reached out to get to know me – I mean – that’s the entire point!!!

Except this guy, I think this guy missed the “getting to know you memo”:

On-line dating at Did That Just Happen Blog

He went from “Hi” to “Let’s go out” in about 3.5 seconds! It was quite amazing and I have to wonder what his success rate is!

Because I’m me, I did mention that none of his profile was filled out, so that was another reason I was hesitant, a message with a blank profile is usually a fishing expedition and I’m not fond of that bait.

To which he replied:

Have you even answered any questions on here?

Okay Mr. ‘Tude, I got your number!  I explained that I answered a ton of them, because it helps the algorithm out, and the more I answer the better results I get – Like the rest of life you get out what you put in! And since I put in a lot of effort, I was wondering what about my profile he liked  best and what made him decide to contact me?

I figured that was the last of him, please kid, you don’t know who you’re dealing with! You can’t cop an attitude that I can’t beat – I deserve a crown for my attitude some days!  Good OR Bad! 😀 Bad Attitude Crown at Did That Just Happen Blog.jpg

Imagine my surprise when 10 minutes later he replied!  I literally had to set the phone down cause I was laughing so hard – the kid went and read my profile (obviously for the first time) and came back and typed in a part of it back to me and told me that was what he liked about me and that’s why he contacted me.

Yeah, no.  But nice try though!  I’d give him points for the effort he took,  but sadly, there was no amount of points to get him out of the hole he was in!!!

So, mostly I’m being amused – trying not to be frustrated – and… I may have found one, or two, that are worth getting to know!! Stay tuned!!

Running news: I’m  actually looking for a 10k race to sign up for, I’d like to see where I stand.  I’m also adjusting my food. I’ve had to increase my protein and iron (not surprising at all) and I’m playing with fueling for the long runs vs. just going out like normal.  It’s been interesting and challenging, and I may or may not have walked around for a few days with an ice pack tied to my ankle every couple of hours… but you know – I’m a runner – we’re weird like that!

 

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Reblog: Then He Kissed the Back of my Hand

Apparently I found the limit on the number of times WordPress will let you reblog one of your own blog posts… Today is the 3rd anniversary of my baby brother’s passing, and so I took some time this morning to re-create the story to share, spend some time with my own thoughts, and just reaffirmed how fast life can change and how important it is to stop and spend time in the moment.

Love you all, and now back to the story.

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My parents always knew that they wanted to have 2 kids and to adopt.  So, after me and my sister, they began looking to adopt.  They wanted to adopt a special needs kid, provide a home to a child that might be overlooked.  They were aware of their own limitations and knew that they wanted a child with a physical handicap.  We took sign language classes together for a while when we thought we were getting a deaf sibling.  That fell through and in the end, we found out about Lee.  Lee had a little red triangle that appeared on his forehead above his nose when he cried and got upset.  The Koreans considered that a handicap.  It was meant to be!

Image<a Lee at Universal Studios, he’s so strong, he is lifting up the A-Team Van with one hand!

His Korean name is Man Ho Ha and we picked him up from Dallas airport when he was 6 months old.  He was ours from the time he was a month old, but we couldn’t get him until he was 6 months old.  It was amazing.  A Korean woman had traveled with him and several other babies and dropped them off at other stops, and Lee and one other child, a little girl, were her last stop.  We passed him around our arms while at the airport and just couldn’t keep our eyes or hands off of him.  It was a memory that will always stay with me.

He was named Jayman Lee.  Jayman is spelled slightly different from normal so that we could incorporate his Korean name in there – and Lee is a family name.  We just called him Lee.

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Through the years, as a good older sister does, I tormented him! I curled his hair and my other sister dressed him up.  Good Times!  Since there is 10 years difference between he and I, we were pretty close.  When he got older, I always took him school supply shopping.  We had season passes to Six Flags for many years.  Apparently, when he and I were younger, I thought I was also his mom.  He would bring home papers from school that were subpar and needed a parents signature, in order to keep him out of trouble I would sign his papers.  Then mom and dad would never know that he didn’t do well.  Yeah, uh, they found out anyway.

It was 10 months ago that he was diagnosed with viral cardiomyopathy.  You have followed my journey with him here on my blog.  After the initial diagnosis, he did good.  We had a few set backs, but overall, he was doing really well managing the condition.  We did have a few scares along the way, but he always pulled through.  In fact, our aunt commented at a family function “you don’t look sick.”  Yeah, she’s that aunt.

ImageLee’s Senior Picture

A little over a month ago he started not feeling very well.  His meds were adjusted, but he knows is body, and he knew when it was time to go to the ER.

He never left the hospital again.

This kid was amazing.  He took everything that was thrown at him.  We didn’t think he would survive the gallbladder surgery, but he did.  Then he was transferred to UT Southwestern, which is one of the best hospitals for cardiovascular issues.  He seemed to be getting better, but then stopped.  I can’t tell you how many times we were told “he may not make it through the night” but he did.  When he went in for his LVAD surgery, again, we knew he might not survive, but against the odds, he did.  I’m so very proud of my brother for all that he went through and how well he handled it.

There was a Tuesday that I went to visit him in Dallas.  He took my hand and held it.  He told me how much he loved me and how glad he was that I was his sister.  He said that he knows how much crap I put up from him over the years and he was so glad that I was always there to support him.  He also mentioned how thankful he was that I could spend so much time with him in the hospital.  He acknowledged that it couldn’t have been easy for me, but that he wanted me to know how much he appreciated it, and me, and how very much he loved me.

Then he kissed the back of my hand and sat there holding my hand.

That’s the last conversation I had with my brother.

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Lee with our nephew

That night he had to be put on the ventilator.  A week later he coded and slipped into a coma.  This Monday, he had a CT scan and we were told that there was swelling in the brain due to damage and that the doctors would not be able to fix that.

It was time.

This Tuesday we gathered by his bedside.  Mom, dad, my sister, my grandmother and I.  We held his hand, kissed his head and said our goodbyes.  When we were ready, we called in the doctors and nurses and they turned off his machines and left us in peace.  We stood by and talked to him, held his hand and we cried as he passed away.

Lee transitioned peacefully to Heaven surrounded by love.  We let him know how much of a blessing he was to us, and that we were letting him go.  He didn’t take long to pass, and we all knew when it happened, you could see the peaceful expression, it was so nice that after such a trying journey, he had found peace.

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Last picture of me and Lee, at the hospital

Today we have been busy making the arrangements.  Lee will be cremated and we will have a memorial service this Saturday morning.  I’ve been in contact with family and friends and have been absolutely amazed at the outpouring of love and support I have received.

Lee was well loved, and for a pain in the butt brother, he was pretty darn awesome.

Thank you all for being part of my journey with Lee.

In the Kitchen with Kate: Healthy Wendy’s Copycat Frosty

  
Really? That seems deceptively simple. But I had all of the ingredients on hand… And I had just finished 30 minutes on the stationary bike… So yes please!! 

  
I gathered my ingredients. 

And I blended. 

And blended. 

And shook the cup and blended some more. 

The mixture was really thick so I added another 1/4 cup+ of Almond milk. 

(The “+” is because I had just over a 1/4 cup left and went a head and finished off the carton! 😂😂😂) 

I blended some more. 

Taste test time! 

Ok, still really think and oh my goodness was that a chocolate overload! 

And not in a good way! 

And I’m out of almond milk, so I add some water. And then a scoop of vanilla protein powder. My thinking was that the vanilla would help off-set the bitter chocolate (cause 1/3 a banana wasn’t near enough sweetener!!) and to help keep the shake thicker after I added water… 

  
It worked!! So while the recipe wasn’t all that spot-on for me, with a few modifications I made it work! By the time I modified it, the caloric count was 234, which isn’t bad considering I had a scoop of protein in there! It was simple enough I’ll be making this me again! 

Oh, and well, I wouldn’t ever mistake it for a Wendy’s Frosty, it was really tasty, and 160 calories less (it would have been 260 calories less, but again, protein powder!!) 

In The Kitchen with Kate: Wordless Wednesday Edition

I saw this recipe on Pinterest the other day and couldn’t wait to try it. Homemade Veggie Nuggets!

Homemade Veggie Nuggets at Did That Just Happen Blog

That looks neat, right? Vegetarian chicken nuggets! And the ingredient list really was simple: Carrots, parsnips, potato, broccoli – and then some oil, egg and breadcrumbs.

The reality:

Homemade veggie nuggets, sort of, at Did That Just Happen Blog

So, mine is a different color… I can work with that… but it was also a totally different texture… well, let’s try it anyway, so what if the cookie cutter didn’t work and I pulled out the melon baller… It could still work!

Pinterest Fail Homemade veggie nuggets at Did That Just Happen Blog

Yeah.  No.

January Recap

I can’t think of a catchy title for this blog… and since it will be a smorgasbord, I figured that “recap” is fine.  Okay, disclaimer over with it! Let’s get started!

One of my SMART goals this years, under “Personal Betterment” is

I welcome January 2017 in as a sharp-dressed woman, as I have made an effort to be more presentable, and accountable in my attire and stepped outside the house always dressed for success.

Honestly, I really thought this was a good idea.

And I’m not ready to abandon it yet… but…

SMART goal not met at Did That Just Happen Blog

Yeah, that happened.

This month, we celebrated my mom’s birthday with a family gathering.  Mr. T had to work, so he spent time with her and dad earlier in the day and had a pleasant lunch with his grandparents, but since I was busy, I wasn’t there and don’t have any pictures – so we’ll start with a picture I snapped of the two of them a few days prior!

Mr. T and Grammy at Did That Just Happen Blog

They were having an intense discussion! Cassius, Lee’s boxer, came over for a visit, and if you look closely, even Shorty was taking part!

It was a fun gathering, and at the end of the night, it was time to take some pictures!

Group Selfie at Did That Just Happen Blog

The best part was when Grammy wanted some pictures with her grand-kids.  This is what we posted:

Picture worth at Did That Just Happen Blog

This is the behind the scenes of what all we have to go through in order to get just a few good shots! I am sure this is something most of y’all can relate to!!

Group shot at Did That Just Happen Blog

Taking family pictures at Did That Just Happen Blog

How to take a family picture at Did That Just Happen Blog

How not to take a family picture at Did That Just Happen Blog

Notice how we were all jumping in to help.

Yeah.  Not so much.  We are more of a sit-back-and-laugh family!!

Remember that I mentioned being busy that morning so I couldn’t join Mr. T during his visit with his grandparents?

Heroes for Hope 5k at Did That Just Happen Blog

Boom! First 5k of the year done! *happy dance* Heroes for Hope run benefiting St. Jude Children’s Hospital.

BA ran with me, and after we had cooled down, grabbed some food and water, I checked, and they didn’t have a computer set up for us to check our official times, but they gave me the site I could log onto later – and then pointed me in the direction of the guy that had the print out!

I did not medal.

Well, if I’m not getting a medal, then we could go.  Not going to lie, there were 30 more minutes to go until the ceremony, and I couldn’t hang!

The next day I got on and checked the official time.

I did not medal, BUT…

I knocked 3 minutes off my race time!! 3 minutes y’all!!  It was insane!  I did start way too fast, and it came up and bit me in the butt at the 2.5ish mark, but again, I’m just amazed at the love of runners, I was struggling, and another runner came up beside me and slowed down, told me I could do it – and then stayed to run with me for a bit!  She and I kept together for a good bit, and it felt good.  I love the sense of community that has come with running, I really do!

As long as I was checking my time, I pulled up BA’s time.

And then I called him and asked “When I was checking the time sheet for me – did you happen to check it for you?  I think you medaled.”

No, he hadn’t checked the sheet, so I contacted the race coordinator, and sure enough, BA came in 3rd place in his group!  They are mailing his medal – it took several hours for it to really sink in with him, but all of the sudden, I think I can convince him to run with me again!

Is there a medal and finisher shirt  Did That Just Happen Blog