I Sneezed

And then had to go change my underclothes.

Yup, I’ve hit that age.

adult diapers

 

I’ve been to the optometrist three times so far trying to work out my contact prescription.  The problem was, right before Vegas I realized I was out of contacts – well, I’m not traveling half way across the country without a back up pair, so I popped on over and he gave me a pair to wear to test the prescription and a back up pair.  As soon as I put them in, it felt wrong.  He said to just give my eyes some time to adjust.

It’s been a week and it still wasn’t right, so I scheduled an appoint to go back in.  Well, my right eye is blurry, but we can’t bump it up anymore because I’m seeing 20/20 at a distance.  We can lower the script in my left eye to help balance things out.

Okay, so I’m currently wearing that script.

But, do you know what this all means? It means that pretty much as soon as I turn 40, I will need reading glasses.

Yup.  I’ve hit that age.

reading glasses

I’m at the age that I have started singing alone with the elevator music.

Conversations with my friends have turned into a competition of who has the worst ailment.

I seriously don’t recognize half of the people on TV now-a-days.  Kelly Ripa has been on vacation, I haven’t recognized half of the women brought in to guest host with Michael Strahan.

Driving down the road the other day I thought “He’s a cutie”.  And then gagged when I realized he might not even be old enough to drink yet.

All young people are starting to look the same age to me.

In just over a week I will have officially hit another milestone birthday.  I’m not worried, but I’m pretty sure I’m not prepared, either!

Did I mention the reading glasses?

At least I can still be useful:

women over 40

Practice Packing

I did a practice packing session the other day.

Sounds weird, right?

Let me explain.

I’m going to Vegas in 2 weeks to celebrate my 40th birthday.  This has been planned and we’ve been saving for 2 years and our goal was to find the least expensive transportation so that we had more fun money.

I think we met that goal – the air line has a very reasonable price tag – and you only pay for the bags you bring.  Okay, so to avoid a bag fee, I have to not pack a bag.  Now, a “carry-on” is a bag and would be subject to the fee.  But, a purse, a briefcase or a backpack, well, that’s personal and not considered a bag.

So, I bought a back pack!

Vegas backpack

Thank you Amazon for my Vegas Backpack!

We are going for 3 days and 2 nights.  And we aren’t doing anything fancy, so this should be easy, right?  Well, first off, my clothes are big girl clothes, so they take up more room.  And, I’m an over-packer.  There I’ve admitted it.  I always, always over pack.  But, since it has saved me on more than one occasion, I have never curbed that tendency.

I have to curb it now.  I have to fit 3 days into that bag.

You know I went camping the other day – a 3 day and 2 night trip.  That was a perfect time to practice packing for Vegas.  Now, the wardrobe isn’t the same, but close.  And I could take a travel bag full of toiletries which I can’t take on a plane, but I didn’t take my straightener, so I think it was a good trade off in terms of practice!

I had to fit all of this:

Vegas packing

Into this:

vegas packing 3

Let me repeat – ALL OF THIS!! Into that little backpack!!!

Vegas packing 2

I have (2) shoes, underwear, socks, (1) pj’s, (2) shorts, (4) shirts, swimsuit and cover and my toiletry bag.  Now, this doesn’t include the items that live in my camping trunk, but I really think it is a close representation of a three day trip for me.  For Vegas I’ll have less toiletries, but will have makeup and hair care, but again, seems like a fair trade off.

And guess what?

I did it!

It all fit!

vegas packing 4

My flip flops are out because I was wearing them that day 🙂

So, I think I’m ready, I think I can do this!

Of course, I’m going to totally practice pack one more time with my actual wardrobe, but that’s neither here nor there!

And I really hope that someone tells me they’ve done this too! Don’t let me be the only weirdo!

**PS: My birthday isn’t really until July 2nd (I’ll wait while you go make a note of that), so we are going early to celebrate because it’s the only time I could get free.  🙂

**P.P.S. I made it back from Vegas!  You can read all about the adventures here: Vegas Baby! 

Happy Birthday to my Brother

I’ve debated all morning long about writing this post.  There are several reasons not to:  I don’t want to upset my mom, I don’t know if I want to drag out my emotions and stomp all over them again and maybe others are tired of the subject matter.

So, mom, you probably should just stop now.  I’m not sure what I’m going to write, but if you must continue, probably should wait until you are off work.

These are my thoughts and emotions and I’ve shared everything else, I think that I want to share this with you, too.  And, if you are tired of the subject matter, I’ve decided that I’m actually okay with that!  It is okay if I write something that doesn’t connect with you because while I’d love to have a connection with every single person that reads this, it isn’t humanly possible.  Maybe I’ll connect with those that need to read this post today, and that is all that matters.

This morning in my prayers I said an extra one for my family today, and then I told my brother Happy Birthday and that I really missed him.  And I cried a little.  Lee would have been 29 today and after five months, it’s still hard that he is gone.  I deal really well with it on most days, most days I can see that I am getting stronger and able to handle his absence in my life, but I knew that today I wouldn’t be able to, that today I would struggle and today I will allow myself time to grieve.

It helps to have great family and friends in my life.  I’ve got a friend who is staying with me and willing to do anything, another friend that is coming over later to see me and another that told me if I needed, she would load up the kids and make the hour plus drive to be with me.  What blessings I have in my friends!  I am so very fortunate to have those around me that love and support me.

I’m very blessed, but they can’t fill the hole inside me.  They can comfort me when I cry, but they can’t stop the tears.  They can say the right thing and offer up the appropriate platitudes; however, the words aren’t a band-aid that immediately works on my heart.

Having said all of that – let me say this to anyone who has a friend that is grieving – don’t give up.  Keep showing your support, hold your friends when they can’t do anything but cry and keep talking.  While you can’t ease my pain, you make it tolerable.  You let me know that it is okay to have days where I struggle (and just as importantly it’s okay to have days when I don’t) and that there is no time limit on grief.  Whether it’s via text, phone, email or in person, the efforts that we all make towards each other shows our love.  The compassion and connection that we make with each other is what matters most in this life.  I probably won’t remember half of what you have told me, but I will remember the feelings you left me with.  I will remember that you were there when I needed you and in turn, I will be there for you.

And today I will allow myself to grieve just a bit that my brother isn’t here to celebrate his birthday and then I will celebrate that I had as many birthdays with him as I did.  I’ll play a little ZZ Top as he got me that CD for one of my birthdays and I will be okay.

happy_birthday_lee-120068

(Image courtesy of liveluvcreate.com)

If you don’t know the story, click here to read Then He Kissed the Back of my Hand.

I Am A Magnet

Okay, so, here is a rule of thumb.  Never give someone a gift you’ve already given them.

This is not as easy as it sounds.  Most people give so many gifts that they can’t remember what they’ve given and to whom they gave it! (I will make a confession: I have a spread sheet.  I only use it for Christmas , but I put down what I give everyone so that I have a record.  I don’t keep a record of BD gifts, but I may have to start!) (Okay, another confession:  I don’t exchange a lot of gifts with my friends.  I am up front and let them know that I’d much rather spend time with them than get trapped in the non-optional social convention.)

Moving on.  I must be a magnet for duplicate gifts.

This happened recently.  I was asked about ideas for my BD, and I told them “I need this cheap box from Hobby Lobby” and instead, I got a beautiful, glossy wooden box, with a hinged lid and a key with a tassel.  Just like the one that has been sitting on my dresser for years and is 2/3 full of items it totally wasn’t meant for!  I toss ticket stubs in it – so if you ever want to make a list of every movie I have ever seen – just go through that box.  I honestly don’t know why I keep them; but, I do!

One time doesn’t mean I’m a magnet, right?

So, not that long ago, I got a great Christmas gift – it was something I really wanted! I was very profuse in my Thanks and even months afterwards I called and told them how wonderful it was.  A few months after that – I got the same gift for my birthday.

It must have been on sale.

I have several more examples, okay, I have more than several; however, I think that I’ve proven my point!

Some times I speak up, but it’s just easier not to.  I just feign surprise and give them thanks – and the thanks are heartfelt, as I appreciate them thinking of me, I do!

Then I put the gift in my gift closet to pass along to someone who doesn’t already have it!  Unless, it’s really good, then this works out well for my sister – as at the first opportunity I pull her aside and go “uh, they’ve already given me this, do you want it?”

My sister has gone home with some great items over the years!

As for me – it really just cracks me and my friends up.  I’d like to attract things other than duplicate gifts though – so I’m opening myself up to being a magnet for $100 bills.  I think those things should just start randomly finding me.  I’m walking down the street and BOOM, there’s a hundred dollars.  I could totally handle that!

money magnet

My 40 Random Acts of Kindness

I found this pin the other day and it really spoke to me!

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The Rebel Foodie put together a list of 52 Random Acts of Kindness and helped me imagine what a difference I could make.  I’ve already started on my list, but I feel compelled to share and bring you along with me on this journey.

I spent some time on the web and gathered up some ideas and combined it with items from The Rebel Foodies list and created my own list: 40 Random Acts of Kindness.  I have a birthday coming up, and felt this was a great way to Pay It Forward and help me celebrate the time I’ve spent on Earth.  My goal is to complete these items before I turn 40; which is closer than I think!

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I visited the Random Acts of Kindness foundation website and found some great ideas, as such, my list is actually longer than 40 items.  In the end, I wanted to make sure I left myself open to opportunities that presented themselves.  Also, because I realized that a lot of the items on the list are things I do regularly, I needed to stretch my boundaries and give myself acts of kindness that would help me grow as a person.

I am super excited about this new chapter and Mr. T doesn’t know it yet, but he is too!

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I’ve created a new page for my 40 Random Acts of Kindness and I encourage you to check it out – and come back and check out what I’ve crossed off and remind me to get busy if you notice I’ve been slacking!

For your reading pleasure, I’ve also included it here!  Thank you, as always, for being part of my journey and letting me share my life with you!

(Update! I told Mr. T about this the other day “hey, here is what I’m doing and I’d like you to be part of it – we have to finish before my BD.”  He asked what was on the list and I read most of it to him… Let me tell you – T has taken off!!  He immediately picked up his phone and called half a dozen friends “I just wanted to let you know I’m thinking about you.  Nope, that’s it.  Okay, bye!”  And every where we go, he is picking up trash!  I’m just so proud of my kid right now!  I have to get busy or he’s going to put me to shame!)

  1. Hold the door open for someone
  2. Teach a child something you wish you knew at that age
  3. Tip a waitress more than you normally would
  4. Spend some time with a senior citizen
  5. Smile at a stranger
  6. Compliment a stranger
  7. Put a quarter in a meter that is about ready to expire
  8. Leave the mail person a thank you card
  9. Donate unwanted items to a homeless shelter
  10. Donate your unwanted suits to a place that caters to single moms re-entering the work force or older workers re-entering the work force.
  11. Smile at the Walmart greeter
  12. Help someone learn something new
  13. Bake someone a cake
  14. Carry someone’s bags to the car at the grocery store
  15. Walk or run for charity
  16. Thank a soldier
  17. Let someone go in front of you in line
  18. Say “thank you” to the cashier
  19. Share inspirational quotes
  20. Donate books to a school or library
  21. Give your box tops to a school ( found on General Mills products)
  22. Help someone for free
  23. Bring flowers to a co-worker, friend, or someone that may be having a hard time.
  24. Tell your family you love them.
  25. Donate coupons that have expired to a military family (they are honored at the military commissary)
  26. Buy that young mother a gallon of milk, a loaf of bread, and a jar of peanut butter.
  27. Praise a parent for their child
  28. Praise your boss
  29. Instead of asking for gifts ask your friends to do random acts of kindness on your birthday.
  30. Donate stuffed animals, coloring books, crayons, stickers, and little toys to the police station to hand out to sick, abused, or scared kids.
  31. Give someone a hug
  32. Help someone whose car is broken down
  33. Send a sunshine box to someone that is sick (put in Kleenex, their favorite cough drops, magazines, and anything that might cheer them up. Don’t forget the get well card )
  34. Hand out pennies at a wishing well or fountain. You never know whose wish you may help come true.
  35. Surprise someone with a cup cake, muffin, cookie, etc.
  36. Pre-stamp some thank you notes and hand them out, letting the recipient know to send it to someone they appreciate
  37. Hide notes in library books for someone else to find.
  38. Make or buy hats for kids that are suffering from cancer and donate them.
  39. Be a friend who listens
  40. Stick your change in the Ronald McDonald box at McDonald’s
  41. Make care packages and take them to a homeless shelter.
  42. Leave your newspaper for someone
  43. Donate blood
  44. Donate school supplies to a school or preschool
  45. Call a friend and let them know you are thinking about them
  46. Donate a $1 (when asked in line at grocery/convenience store “would you like to donate” say yes)
  47. Thank the police or fire department (drop off a case of water)
  48. Return a shopping cart for someone and save them the trip
  49. Take new parents a date night kit. (Movie rental, popcorn, 2 liter of soda, and candy.)
  50. Collect canned food for a food bank
  51. Hand out Valentine cards with lollipops on Valentine’s Day.
  52. Write a letter to someone who made a difference in your life.
  53. Pick up trash.
  54. Plant a tree
  55. Pat someone on the back
  56. Take little care packages to a Cancer center. Fill them with a travel size hand lotion, chapstick, and purse size package of antibacterial wipes. They will be much appreciated!

kindness starts with me

How Do I Sleep?

Last night about 9:30 Mr. T tweeted “How do I sleep when I get my #permit tomorrow?”

He was pretty darn excited – but then again – so was I!

We had a good weekend for his birthday – we splurged on take out Friday night and he ended up going over to his grandparents and spending the night with them since his cousins were there.  I joined them on Saturday morning and dad said several times how impressed he was with the twins and Mr. T and their team work.  Remember all those trees that were cut down last weekend in order to fix the fence?  Well, this weekend we had to cut those apart so they could be bundled up.  The trees were down in the easement behind my parents house and at one point I was down there to help and my niece goes “Aunt Kate, we kinda have a system going.  But, I forgot to bring some water down!”  I think she just sent me off to get water so I’d get out of the way! Jayman would cut the trees down to size, Samantha would stack them and T would tie them up and them haul them up to the yard.  We all were so proud of them – and they were proud of the work they did!

I took off in the afternoon to go pick up the goodies and dinner.  Mr. T wanted Taco Casa for dinner, so I got a good selection of items and a gallon of both sweet and unsweet tea.  For those of you that don’t have Taco Casa – you are so totally missing out!  Plus birthday cake… yummy birthday cake… that there is no picture of because I couldn’t wait to cut into it!  Papa made his delicious homemade Reese’s peanut butter cup ice cream to top it all off.  As I told Facebook, I was stuffed, exhausted and on a sugar high all at the same time that evening!

Now, because I know you are all wondering – we did NOT rearrange the bedroom!!  You don’t know how happy I was about that.  Dad actually likes the arrangement and mom does too, except for a few items that just don’t “flow” for her.  So, we’ll focus on just fixing that… eventually! (Yes, I know mom, we won’t forget, I promise!)

I know you've seen this one, but it's a great shot of me and the BD boy!

I know you’ve seen this one, but it’s a great shot of me and the BD boy!

Today was the exciting day.  We were up and at the DMV by 7:55, and waiting outside the doors with everyone else for them to open at 8:00 am.

The line outside!

The line outside!

We got in and through the line up to the front of the desk, proved we had enough paperwork to sit down and wait – and they gave us our number: 601.  Now, the only thing that T and I could come up with was that their numbering system was random so that people couldn’t buy a better number or to keep them from pulling a Beetlejuice (“Hey – look, there is Elvis!!”).

What sense does this make?

What sense does this make?

Our number was called and we made our way up to the desk.  Finished filling out the paperwork I missed, signed half a dozen documents and Mr. T had his picture taken!  From there he was sent to take his test.  I’ll admit, I totally cheated here.  Let me tell you how.  He was supposed to take his test and THEN stand in the next line.  I went ahead and got in line while he was taking his test.  Working the system baby, working the system!

He did well! Scored an 83!

He did well! Scored an 83!

He passed!

Ready to drive!

So, that happened, overnight I’m now officially living out the Driving Miss Daisy movie! Please send prayers! 🙂

One for the Jar

A great weekend was had – great enough that T and I put it in our memory jar (have you seen these on Pinterest? You create a jar and throughout the year you put in memories and good times that you’ve had and you read them at the end of the year.  My Diva’s are all doing this and we will read them at the NYE party this year.  It should be awesome!)

Anyway, it was one for the memory jar.  Friday night Mr. T had his theatre banquet and won two awards! YAY!  Excellence in Acting and Excellence in Tech.  I’m so proud of my guy!

We did get together with the family and celebrated my sister’s birthday and Father’s Day.  There was an odd moment when mom said she wanted to go through Lee’s items.  Neither my sis nor I had any idea this was planned, and it surprised both of us, cause as you know, my mom doesn’t get rid of things.  We did expect that a few sentimental items would be doled out, but never expected, especially so soon, that we’d go through his items.  Well, my sister had a meltdown.  I really thought that I caused it, that I was going through things too quickly and it upset her.  She says it wasn’t me, and after talking to her, I kinda believe her.  She’s just still emotional, and being weeks away from having a baby, a bit more hormonal, too.  Ask how much fun it was to celebrate her birthday after she’s been crying… yeah.

We did survive!  We did not go through the items, though.  And that is okay!

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This has no relevance to the story. I just haven’t shared my love of Dean Winchester lately. That is all.

Sunday was a crappy morning, we were running late for church and ended up forgetting a couple of things… and church just drove me nuts.  I’m so struggling there – but working on it and praying about it – and really, T is happy, and that’s all that matters.  We didn’t stay for service, but left and drove through Micky D’s for breakfast and then over to a friends house for a pool party.  So totally worth it! We had so much fun!  Mr. T got lots of compliments, which makes us both glow!

Monday we asked mom and dad if they wanted to meet us for a movie.  Star Trek baby!!  We met at the movie bistro and ordered lunch and watched the movie.  It was awesome! It really made my inner nerd happy!

Today I’m back at work and actually being productive! It helped that my boss is out of town, so I was able to get caught up on a lot of things without his interruptions.  I’m ready for the rest of the week to fly by – and only 5-1/2 more days of school left! Yay!

And now, just cause I love you and we can all use a break, I present a You Tube video that I just love of Jensen and Misha (Dean and Castiel) doing a panel.  Someone from the audience brought an old headshot of Misha… and actually, as I type this, I think I might have shared it with you before… Huh.  Have I blogged so much that I can’t remember what I’ve shared OR do I just love this clip so much that I have to keep sharing?  You be the judge! If I was a good blogger, I’d go back and look and see if I’ve ever titled a blog called “Acting on Camera”.   Well crap, I am a good blogger and I went back and checked, and yes, I have shared this before – but I have some new readers, so I’m sharing it again!  (I’ve had issues with it embedding properly, so if you can’t click to watch, feel free to do the hard work and copy/paste in your browser!)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yj4kn-RADME