Saturday, April 30, 2011

Royal Wedding and Morons

I realize that not everyone is obsessed with the media attention the royal wedding has received. I didn't even actually watch the wedding until today. It was sweet and really pretty. My favorite part of the whole thing was Prince Harry's sweet smile when he told his brother, "Wait til you see her" with a face cracking grin. (PS, I heart Harry)

But really, I haven't been obsessed over it, just watching snippets and keeping up with Yahoo!'s news updates. However, I have see many people on facebook totally obsessed, either with non-stop photos and praise or non-stop complaining. Just in case you are wondering, constantly complaining infers to me that you actually do care. If you didn't care at all, you wouldn't be posting on facebook.

But this really gets to me. Someone posted this on someone else's facebook page.

Friend one: I am dvring it, I am excited !!! So is my gdaughter!! She said that she did not know that princesses were real !!!

Friend two: nope she lived with him for 2 years now. no princess just a regular whore

Honestly, that is the most immature thing I've read in a long time. Just really...pisses me off. I hate to break it to you, but living with the person you intend to spend the rest of your life with before your married does not make you a whore. I cannot stand small minded opinions like that. Just so you know, I will delete any similar comments of this blog as well.

It's unnecessary.

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Friday, April 29, 2011

Fit for a Princess

I haven't been too up on the Royal hoopla, but I was excited to see the dress. It turned out to be a truly beautiful dress, for a very beautiful young woman. I'm impressed.

But even more than the dress, I truly hope that the look on her face in this photo is how she feels now and 50 years from now. I wish them all the happiness in the world.

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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Free Canvas Print

I might just be the only one who didn't know about this, but in case your like me, Canvas People offers your first print free and pretty decent prices thereafter. I'm impressed to say the least, and will most likely order another.

After seeing Little Miss Mama's I Spy series today, I must admit, a little bit of jealousy surged me, and forced me into buying this:

I got it upgraded to a 16x20 for only $12.99 plus shipping. I can't wait to get it in and hang it in my living room! :)

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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

What is counseling?

Ever wondered what counseling was, from a counselors perspective? Well I recently had to write a journal about an experience in a class, and thought I would share.

How do you define counseling? Before taking any counseling classes, it was just talking. Helping people solve their problems. Giving advice. Now that I’m (thankfully) almost finished with my master’s degree, I now know that counseling is something much more complex than I ever imagined. Now I know that it’s theory and training. A process for the client that the counselor walks them through, training them to find their own way, not necessarily walking with them and “helping.”

Counseling is knowing what theory drives you, and not just mixing what sounds good, finding something that is proven to work and following the lead of pioneers, not reinventing the wheel. Counseling is using that theory to observe and learn about a client, and then use that knowledge to create goals and plans, and follow them through. Counseling is not always successful, and success is not doing it “right.” Which honestly, right was never a concern for me. I was more worried about wrong, damaging, or harming. Those things seem more daunting to me.

Counseling is about helping people, but not getting so involved in their problems that you aren’t doing your job or are damaging yourself in the process. Counseling is continuing your education and being a part of your field and knowing what’s new, next and cutting edge; and also knowing what’s no longer appropriate.
Counseling is knowing that not everyone thinks like you or learns like you, and most importantly that no one has been through the same life experiences as you. Those things shape how other people think, learn, and live. Culture, gender, socioeconomic status, race-and it’s implications-all create this environment we as counselors must learn to balance in our daily work, but really, all we have to be is empathetic and know that it doesn’t matter what we think, know, have learned or experienced. It’s about the client and what they have been through. We should know our own biases, how to put them in their place (not letting them interfere with our work), and when to let a client go if this is something we can’t do.

Not having a psychology degree, I sometimes get bogged down in the details and the process. I forget to think like a counselor, it isn’t instinct; I have to work at it. When I think of counseling in this way, it reminds me of Mark Twain’s “Two Ways of Seeing a River.” When you think of this career, it’s this awesome and humble career of helping people. You spend your day making the lives of others so much better. And then when you learn what it actually involves, how much work and training, and for me, this entire perspective shift, it really changes the way you see it. It’s no longer awesome and humble, but just a career. A job that pays the bills, that I plan to enjoy, but none the less, the magic is gone. I now know how it works, the mystery is gone. I’m sure there are still plenty of mysteries left in the counseling field, but overall, big picture, I know the basic procedure.

For me, counseling is this in progress thing that I wonder if I'll ever really understand. I think, at this point, I could have a PhD and still not know enough. I'm hoping that my internship in the fall will help with that.

So, as my professor would say, What's your take on counseling?

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What does perfection lead to? Self Control I hope.

Came across this on facebook today, and I'm not sure how I feel about it. It's incredibly well written, and a very moving piece that I'm sure will garner much acclaim. Well deserved acclaim. And I don't intend to sound insensitive to anyone out there reading it and agreeing whole-heartedly, but, to be blunt: I didn't.

Some of the situations mentioned are dead on. It's false perfection to lie about how amazing your husband is when he's really not. It's verbal abuse when he calls you a whore for smiling at a stranger. I'm not saying the calling of one name is verbal abuse, but I know people like that, and it doesn't stop there. Ever. It doesn't stop at verbal abuse, usually. I'm also going to take a leap that the same husband doing this transgression is the same one telling his kids he wished they were never born. Because this:

""Perfection" is a dad hating himself because he can't give the same thing to his kids that other dads do, and then hates himself further because he takes his self-loathing out on his kids behind closed doors. You know what would have been nice? If you were never born. Do you realize how much money I'd have right now? Now come give Daddy a hug because I can force you to give me validation." (Single Dad Laughing)

to me, is also verbal abuse.

Again, some of these are dead on. Someone does need to tell that pregnant unwed girl that it will all be ok. That not everything is so big that it can't be fixed. She most definitely needs a shoulder to cry on.

But that verbally abusive husband, wife, mother, father, they need counseling. They don't need coddled and told it's OK to not need to be perfect. There comes a point in time when you have to realize the level of stress you are under and how it is affecting those around you. If you, the reader of this blog, are currently telling your children you wish they had never been born, please stop. It's not ok. If you're calling your wife derogatory names for being friendly in public, stop. If you're running your husband into the ground because it makes you feel better about yourself, stop. Those things aren't ok, and they are affecting your relationships. They are affecting the people around you. The things you are saying are being soaked up by those you are saying them to and the others around who can hear. You are teaching your sons and daughters how to act, and it's not ok for them to treat others that way.

This is a bit of a soapbox of mine, but if you are a wife/girlfriend or husband/boyfriend, whatever of a man/woman who treats you like dirt, DO NOT stand for it. Tell them you want to see a counselor or you're leaving. Those behaviors will be taught to your children. Do you want your son to treat his wife that way? Or your daughter to treat her husband that way? I don't.

Again, not saying that SDL is wrong in anyway, but that a clarification needs to be made. I, personally, will not put my arm around an adult treating another human/animal you name it, badly for their own personal validation to tell them it's ok to be imperfect. These people need to be told it's not OK to act that way, and it's ok to feel imperfect. Actually, I'm going to change that statement. They need to be empowered to learn that it's not OK to act that way and it's ok to BE imperfect.

Have you ever noticed my categories? The majority are marked Blissful Life and Real Life. There's a reason for this. Even though my existence is pretty blessed, it's not always perfect. There is real life thrown in.

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Sickness, Homework, and Astrokid

Not that I owe anyone an explanation, but if you're wondering where I've been, the title says it all.

I was so sick last week for two days. Well, not like deathbed sick, but that last spring cold that doesn't want to let go. It saps the energy out of you to remind you that you really are powerless when it comes to things like sickness. I laid in bed all doped up on nyquil watching stupid mindless TV while drifting in and out of restless sleep.

After that, I had to shape up and crack down on my overdue homework, and that takes my time as well. Boo. I wish I were done. Does anyone have any ruby red slippers that could make me done with school this semester instead of next without making me loose any more precious time than I already have with my kid? I hate having to do homework and be away from him for school. I know, I made that decision, but I have to remember that it will eventually better him, even if it hurts my heart now.

Oh, and Astrokid. Ever heard of Astrokid? Chances are, if you don't live with me, you haven't. Astrokid is a variation of Astroboy, but my sweet child thinks that the world is gender neutral. So, we're sticking with Astrokid for now. He's also a kid, in case you were wondering. Not a boy.

So, there's that. Nothing other than life, as I'm sure you already knew or at least suspected.

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Thursday, April 21, 2011

Here's to the Next Ten...

Ten years ago today, I had my last first kiss. It was in my room, at the foot of my bed. It was after weeks and weeks of debating what being his girlfriend would be. I had a boyfriend before, so I knew what it was like to be a girlfriend, just not his. I knew he was different. He was a close friend for years before we got to the point that we liked each other that way, even though secretly as a child I would pretend that he was Ken to my Barbie. PS, if you didn't already know this, my BFF and I played Barbies for years. I mean, longer than we should have. lol

I knew that being his girlfriend would be something not to be taken lightly. I knew it would be the last time I would be someone's girlfriend. I knew we would end up married someday.

And five years later, we were married. I'm so glad I made that decision as he is the most amazing husband a girl could ask for.

Love you babe.

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Sunday, April 17, 2011

Baby Boom

Currently in my pretty small community, including my facebook friends originally from said community, there have been five babies born this past week, with two going in for induction today and a few still full term pregnants ready to go any day. These kids (for the most part) will make up a single classroom of children in a few years. What a crazy thought huh?

From that, I can't seem to avoid the stares and pointed comments about Archer's lack of sibling. It's time for a sibling they say, he's ready for a sibling, my friends and family are ready for a sibling.

I've gone back and forth so many times. A sibling? The pros are, he would have a life long companion who would be there with him. They would, through thick and thin, at the least have each other. I know lots of people don't get along with their siblings, but in my family, most sibling sets have always been super close. They would have someone to spend Friday nights with and someone to babysit their kids and someone to share the burden of their aging parents.

The cons? One more kid, in general. Less attention for the kid we already have. Less attention for each other. Less time to spend as a couple. I have to work now, as I didn't before. Which is also a plus, because we can afford more now than we could before.

It wasn't even a decision before, but I am worried that Archer will miss out on all the sibling stuff. For those of you who choose to have two, what helped you make that decision?

My sisters and I.

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Saturday, April 16, 2011

Busy Day Today!

I had class today, yuck for Saturday classes.

Then this evening we went to the carnival, or carnibal as Archer says. He had so much fun. I love seeing his happy smiley face!!

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Thursday, April 14, 2011

Photograpy Note

If you have a DSLR camera, you probably already know that the awesome weather I've been having here in Oklahoma (minus the lack of rain and the windy wind) is perfect for the taking of photos. The lighting is perfect most of the day and best in the warm evenings. The color of the green grass and blue sky just set everything off. I love this time of year.

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First Baby: What DO you need?

My first time mom friend said the other day her mom suggested she ask her friends with babies what kind of items they actually needed with their first baby. I noted you can get by with a lot less than you actually think.

For example, we only had a booster chair, strap in type high chair that we used until very recently because it scooted right up to the table. It was portable and super handy.

We also had two bouncers, and Archer hated them. He hated being in them, so I didn't even bother putting him in it. We had a swing however that he loved being in.

I didn't buy a swaddler, had one handed down, but he hated it. I used lots of blankest, so they are a must. We actually still use lots of blankets.

We had a Johnny Jumpup, but it really didn't work at our house and he just kind of sat there.

We had an exersaucer, which he did like a little, but it was HUGE and took up so much space.

I wish I had gotten a wipe warmer, because he still cringes about cold wipes. I wish I had gotten a video monitor, because well, they rock. We didn't use the regular one because our house is so small we could hear him no matter where he was, but a video monitor would still be useful.

What else? What did you LOVE? What did you hate? What did you wish you had bought?

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Apathetic Much?

Today my lovelies, you're getting some personal insight. I'm sure your thinking, I read your blog all the time, that's personal. Well, it is, true, but this is personal to me, not my thoughts on something else.

I had a meeting with my professor yesterday about an assignment. We met to go over it in person. She made a note about some abrasive behaviors of the person I was interviewing and asked if that was a type of behavior I was used to being directed at me. I was utterly confused, No, I said. People don't generally talk down to me with my approval. I don't let them. She was pleased to hear this and asked my take on it then. Why didn't it bother me that she was worked up and had some superiority in her tone directed at me? Well, my first thought was because it wasn't really directed at me. I was the one in the room, but she would have been talking to whoever asked the questions I asked, no matter who I was.

Then, I decided, it's my trademark thing. I just don't care. I actually said, "It's not that I'm apathetic, but if it's not affecting me personally with malice, there's nothing I can do about it."

So then after fully inquiring on the word apathetic, I've decided that I'm a shade of it. I have some emotion and I do care about some things, but this statement here is dead on, "a (desirable) state of indifference towards events and things which lie outside one's control (that is, according to their philosophy, all things exterior, one being only responsible of his representations and judgments)." If I'm not the responsible party, I just don't care. This was caused by a snap I had in college of deciding I didn't care.

I can still be responsible and be in control of a situation, but I don't need to be. Nor do I really want to be. Control is not something I need. My husband might disagree, but I don't think wanting him to put the powder in the diaper box and moving it from the top shelf every time he doesn't isn't control. It's structure and there is a difference.

In case you didn't know this, I'm a really laid back person. By laid back I mean, deadlines can be a little fuzzy, decisions are only made when necessary, and I'm just fine with an evening at home on the porch swing.

Now, because I'm that way, I do know that I need strict structure when completing tasks. So, for our trip to NY, I had to have everything segmented and organized and ready to go because my natural easy-ness would have made us late, miss flights, trains, etc. That trip was stressful for me because I had to be controlling of every little thing, yet I still only had control of myself and what I was doing. So when the plane was delayed and we had to change our entire itinerary that was stressful. I already had boarding passes, I already had our seats set up to sit together.

And I knew it would be that way's a secret, it doesn't matter how much controlling you do in your world, the outside factors still affect you. Knowing that I used to be a complete control freak, and now see the light, I don't understand the rest of the control freaks in the world. There's no need. All it does is prematurely age you and keep you in an exhaustive state of stress constantly. Why? I assure you, stressing and controlling every aspect of your life doesn't help you accomplish more. It definitely doesn't make the people around you like you any more when you're bossing them around and freaking out about things you can't control. I know, I've been there. Believe me.

But really, if you're a control freak, and deep down, you know if you are, it's ok. Because I really don't care. :)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Real Sadness

Because I have never lost a child, I can only read these words and know that this must be the worst thing a parent could ever hear. I cannot imagine getting a call telling me that my beautiful son had been killed. I can't imagine having to attend his funeral or make arrangements for his body. It's sickeningly heart breaking, and I can't even fathom what it really feels like.

The blog I'm linking to today is one written by a person I spent a few short weeks with one summer with as a child. I thought she was exotic and non-traditional and nothing like anyone I had ever met. She was just too cool. I spent time with her boys and have fond memories of a back yard pool and trip to a water park with them. I don't know them as adults, and I will never know one of them, Mick as an adult. I'm sad for her and her family, and pray for their strength to move forward and heal.

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Mommy Brag

My son is so smart. I know, everyone has the smartest child in the room. I'm not saying that, I'm just impressed with the concepts he understands and articulates. Tonight while sitting next to me on the couch he said, "That's {d}isgusting Mom. That's weally gwoss. I don't wike it." Of course, he was referring to my very tasty broccoli and rice, but whatever.

After that he shouts at me, "MOM! That's my favorite show." referring to Criminal Minds. lol And then in the opening sequence of the show there was a mom and a baby and the baby is crying. Screen cuts off and he says, "Where'd the baby go? I miss that baby. Maybe someday?" No clue about the someday part, but I still thought it was just too cute to hear him say those cute things.

<3 my boy!!

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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet

I just recently finished the book, The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet.

Remember I do mostly audiobooks, so it can be different than an actual book; especially if you read fast like me. I sometimes have a hard time going at the pace of the narrator.

With that said, I spent the first hour feeling lost. It skipped back and forth a little from Orito to Jacob (pronounced with a y sound not j). Once I was 30 minutes or so into each narrator is was easier to follow. Sometimes there are quick narrator changes, and only a few pagers per narrator so that definitely was confusing in an audiobook especially because there was a time/location announcement with each chapter. I figure that would have translated better to text so I could refer back.

Beyond that small issue, the book was wonderful. I had no expectations going in, and was pleasantly surprised with how it turned out.

The Japanese history was enlightening and had me looking up maps and shoguns online. This was my first foray into Asian themed books, and it was a rewarding experience.

The trials and tribulations of the characters made me sad, especially the last two parts, but that's life, naturally. The high points of the book were good, and I enjoyed that Jacob was a good character throughout.

I most definitely recommend this to anyone with an interest in historical fiction, likes Asian themed literature, and love stories.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Daily Commute

Just in case you didn't know this already, I have an hour long commute to and from work daily. Since I also travel from school to school, I also drive a bit during the day.

Even after a whole year of doing it, I'm torn on my feelings about it. On one hand, it's such a pain having to get up early for work, and juggling my daycare's schedule with my work. On the other, I honestly enjoy the hour alone.

There are some days that I talk work on my phone all the way there and back, those days I wish I lived closer to work or worked closer to home. But the days that I get to spend the entire commute reading a book, one of my favorite past times, is a joy.

Yes, you read that right. I read and drive. You only thought texting was bad. Kidding, kidding. I "read" via audiobook.

When I was growing up my Nanny, who was blind in her 40's used to listen to audiobooks in her room during nap-time. I always thought it was the craziest thing ever. It was through the department of vocational rehab, and they would mail her out several new ones a month.

Now that, between work, school, and a two year old, I never get to read actual books, it's been a lifesaver. Or at least a sanity saver. I get to enlighten my mind and relax, and do something I enjoy all while fighting afternoon traffic.

For the first few months of work I was buying a new book each month, which by the way, isn't cheap. Audiobooks run at least $25, some times $10 on sale. This past year I found When you sign up you get a free book, then you pay $15 a month thereafter for one book a month. I realize that is not much cheaper, but you can get any book for that price, even the ones that are usually $40 on iTunes.

So, if you commute, I have two things:

1. Try audiobooks. Helps with the monotonous commute and is like an hour alone reading.

2. Tell me what you do to help with the monotony of your commute?

New Blog Features!!

Good morning. I'm working on making my blog a little more easily accessible. In this process, I've added a few new features and created a facebook page for the blog. Exciting, I know. What exactly does this mean to you, the reader who is already loyal? It means that finding out about a new post is easier than ever.

First, I've added the facebook page. From the facebook page, I will update you about new posts directly. Also, I will post about any new things happening as well!

In addition to the facebook page, I've also added a box in the right hand column so that you can like the page from here, even easier, see.

I've also added a box in the sidebar so that you can just enter your email address to be notified of new blog posts. So, if you don't facebook, all you have to do is check your email. Easy again. (See a theme here?)

And finally, I've added a button that allows other bloggers, like yourself, to link to my page from yours. I have a page in the top bar where I've added the buttons of others, and now I have a button for you to share. Woohoo!

So, now there are many new ways to access my blog, as well as share it with others. Hope they make your life a tiny bit easier.

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Saturday, April 9, 2011

You're My Best Friend...Oh Whoa, Whoa.

My best friend...

Would you like to know about my best friend?

She's this beautiful girl, I met in kindergarten. I remember this one time, she showed me her Superwoman bra in the mini bathrooms of the kindergarten classroom. It was cute, but I was always jealous when we got older that she actually needed a bra, and I didn't.

We spent every possible weekend together. She was most usually at my house, as her parents partied more than mine did, and appreciated the free babysitting. I occasionally spent weekends at her house, but we usually went to her grandma's house. Her grandma was this really awesome lady who made us snacks and took extra special care of us. She also had this awesome bar setup downstairs with a pool table, karaoke machine, and a shuffle board thing. We had lots of fun down there, even though we never got to spend time in it as an actual bar.

When we were in the 7th grade, her dad (who worked for walmart) got transferred to a store in Colorado. I was the last person she told, because neither of us was happy about it. I was heartbroken that my best friend was going to be moving 10 hours away. Luckily, we grew up in the time of technology and were able to mail, call, and email each other pretty regularly. Beyond that, I got to spend the first spring break away with her. Then that next summer after she moved, she came back to spend the summer with me. We were pretty sick of each other after that, but it worked. When my mom took her back home after that, we got to spend time with my grandma's best friend in Denver, and we got to spend the night in a really nice hotel.

I spent the next summer with her in Colorado. It was completely different from my life with my parents, as her parents were divorced by this time and had joint custody. Even when her mom was at home, she worked overnight as a nurse and slept until noon each day. The amount of supervision we had was minimal, and if we wanted to go somewhere, we rode bikes or walked.

Because she still had family around, she came to visit frequently and even came to our Senior prom, while Chance and I went to see her for Spring break and my mom and I went to her high school graduation. In June of that year, she came to visit her uncle, and ended up staying with me and my parents for a bit. It was during that time that she and Chance and I decided to get a house together.

We lived together for one year, and she moved to Oklahoma City, I moved home with my parents, and Chance joined the Navy. We still stayed close, even though she was living an hour away. We saw each other often.

In the Winter of 2007, her grandmother, the one I talked about before, passed away. I spent an several days with her, trying to console her in anyway I could. I took her wherever she needed to go, even if it was just somewhere to get away from her family for a little while. She got into a really big fight with her dad right after that, and moved back to Colorado with her mom and brother.

For a stretch of two years, the visits were less often. She was rebuilding her life there, and only came to visit two or three times. When Archer was born she came to the hospital to meet him and see us. She even cleaned my house and took care of our dogs while we were away.

In 2009 she, her mom and brother moved back to Oklahoma. I'm so glad to have her back close again. We try to see each other each month, as she still lives in the OKC area. It's not always possible, but every time I go very long without seeing her really make me sad.

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