Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Oh I'm sorry, I forgot that you're special...

I'm going to be honest about this, I was having kind of a hard time at church yesterday.  My mind was listening just enough to only catch onto the odd things that were said.  Most these comments were offhand but my wandering mind caught on them and could not let go.

Whoa, okay that sounds truly terrible once I admit it.  I was paying attention, I promise, my thoughts were even church related, they just were perhaps not on the topic the teacher was trying to present....

Anyway, my inattentiveness aside, one of the comments I heard and could not stop pondering was about the attitude of the people who watched Jesus grow up and could not accept that he was anything special.  The comment was something along the lines of "they were so close to Him they forgot that he was special."

This got me thinking that we do this all the time with the people who are closest to us.  For some reason we begin to take for granted the aspects that make a person special, unique, and amazing, and focus instead on the quirks that are nails on a chalkboard annoying.  Ha.  Well that's disappointing.  "I'm sorry, I was so busy hating everything you do that I really did forget that you're special!"  My bad....

So in that spirit, and the spirit of Easter and new beginnings I thought I'd say some things that I find truly special about the people I love.  But I don't want anyone to get a big head here... so I'm not naming names about these special attributes.  You're not that special.  So if you know it's you, perfection, know that I love you.  If you're not sure if it's you, assume it's you, feel special, and know that I love you.  If you don't think any of them are actually about you, pick your favorite, and know that I love you :).

*  You can talk to anyone.  Truly.  I'm in awe of that.  Because I'm awkward.
*  I hope I get to be you when I grow up, because your pictures are amazing.
*  Do you really need to be right all the time?  It's annoying but still the coolest thing ever.
*  You make me laugh, all the time.
*  You're on the crazy train often, but it teaches me how much you care about the things in your life, I hope I have half as much to care about.
*  You make everyone feel special, including me.  I adore that immensely.
*  You enjoy having fun almost as much as me and are willing to go on any adventure with me.
*  You know yourself so well, your confidence is inspiring.
* You persevered through harder times than I can imagine.

So many more things but I'm getting dangerously close to telling stories no one wants to hear.  But I think a resolution to be less mindful of the annoying, and more observant of the special is definitely what I need in my life.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Remembering Lent

Easter has come and gone.  And with it my Lent resolution to abstain from desserts, candy, and chocolate.

In some ways it was a really long forty days.  But surprisingly it really wasn't as hard as I thought it would be.  Overall I was surprised at how well I could do without the things that truly, I do love.  And truthfully I didn't cheat!  There were some days that I had some dessert, but I justify this through my mini-Easters.  (In real Lent, Sunday doesn't count towards your abstinence because it's a mini-Easter)  And, many of my meals were chocolate mint protein bars but I don't count those as chocolate because I'm pretty sure everything about those bars are fake chemicals.  I feel actually really proud of myself for sticking to it like I did.  Although honestly that may have been in part because almost every one I know knew that I was doing this, so cheating would have involved going against the intense stubbornness my character is ingrained with.  I was perhaps too open with this resolution...  haha.

My most academic thought about the experience (are you ready for this) was my surprise at how often I was presented with this type of food.  I really didn't realize how often I go to activities, friends cook, or I make myself desserts, have candy, or are eating chocolate.  It was honestly almost every day that someone around me had the forbidden fruit as it were and offered it to me.

I also realized that I am WAY more picky than I like to tell myself I am.  Haha it's much easier to refuse desserts, that honestly I don't like under normal circumstance, when I was "observing Lent".  There really are a lot of things that I had NO problem giving up.
BUT.... on the other hand there were things that I realized I like a lot more than I like to tell myself I do.  Seems to me there really is something to that whole "absence makes the heart grow fonder" thing.

Overall, it was a pretty cool experience and something I'm glad I did.  I do need to thank Stephanie, for being SUCH a good friend and eating double helpings of everything we encountered just for me :).  What a true friend.

And in case anyone was wondering I broke my fast with lovely, chocolately, fantastical brownies.  My favorite.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Location of My Marriage (aka The Henry Ford)

Stop number two on my Dtown Bucket List was the Henry Ford Museum (and of course some eateries).  

When we first got to the museum my friend Steph informed me that the last time she was there a wedding party was also there taking pictures and having a reception.  Um....  can I please do that too?  I mean how good does this pose look?  Add in a wedding dress and a groom and heaven is complete.

After this revelation the museum was a haze of day-dreaming loveliness.  I was so impressed by everything I saw.  I regressed to nerdom in my head on many occasions but I loved all of it.  There were so many cool things to see and look at.  I was constantly impressed by how many things Henry Ford was involved in.  He had a hand in everything honestly.  And the sheer volume of exhibits in the museum reminded me so much of the Smithsonian museums in D.C.  I was just soaking it all in.  Here are some of the highlights.

Of course the cars must be involved.

The Rosa Parks bus.

And a fantastic car we got to actually hang out in :).

And last but not least my close to favorite picture of the day came from the Women's Rights exhibit.

After the museum we went to eat at this awesome place called The Jolly Pumpkin.

Can we just say amazing?  It was such a fun place.  The experience was only enhanced by the presence of Rosemary Truffle french fries.  It.  Was.  Amazing.  
Such a fun birthday weekend!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Island of Lost Toys

*Warning, this post doesn't really have a point...*

I can very vividly remember my mother telling me to clean my room often when I was younger.  She would tell me it's that time of the week, and then she would leave my room and go back to whatever else she had to do around the house.  As soon as her back was turned I would start cleaning (I was the perfect child).  She would call down the hall probably an hour later asking if I was done and I would reply that my room was spotless.  It was great.  Never any problems.

And then I would hear these words; "If I check under your bed is it going to be just as clean?"

Uh, why don't you give me a little longer there mother dearest....  I totally forgot to check under my bed.

Then she would come back and I would be SO proud that my room was clean.  And as a bonus to being clean, it was organized!  I put high value on being organized, even then, so I always felt an extra amount of accomplishment because everything was in its place.  So I'm sure you can imagine my surprise when my beautiful, clean, ORGANIZED room received a barely passing grade in the eyes of my lovely mother.

How on earth had she found fault in all the hard work I'd done?!

Turns out,  my organization skills fall into the category of "stacking" rather than the traditional "finding a place for everything".  And even more shocking than that, according to anyone other than myself, stacking is not actually a legitimate form of organizing.  Somehow I was floored by this revelation, and subsequent accusation, every single time it happened.  I just could not accept that my way wasn't actually good enough for my mother the tyrant*.

Fast forward to now and surprise surprise I'm still a stacker.  I've gotten much better at organizing, and may have even come around to the idea that stacking isn't actually cleaning.  But old habits die hard.  I was thinking about this habit of mine the other day when I was contemplating the location of my ipod (it had been a while since I'd played angry birds).  Shockingly, I tend to lose things.  Not important things, just small ticket items like keys, passports, ipods, car registration....  Ugh I hate that word: 'lose'.... because I have trouble accepting that I've actually lost them.  I found them ALL sooner or later, it just takes me a while sometimes.  Whenever I share my woes about misplacing objects with my mother she invariably goes back to the issue that I am a "stacker" and not a "putter awayer".  I 'organize' things in such a way that I don't have a prayer of finding anything until I go through them again to actually put them away.

Ah the bitter sting of self-realization.  After the initial defensiveness and my overwhelming desire to say "Nuh UH!", comes the let down and soul crushing acceptance that, yes, I lose things.

This self analysis was brought on yesterday when I was cleaning my house (actual cleaning) and came across possibly my favorite pieces of paper in the world.  Before I moved to Michigan my fam had a little pow wow where we all wrote 5 things we loved about each member of the family.  So I have five pieces of paper telling me specific things my family loves about me.  I have read them more times than I can count over the past two years and I am so grateful to have them.  Now, they were never lost.  I promise.  I knew where they were the entire time.  BUT, they were stacked in a very weird location.  And as I came across them yesterday I had the thought, "these would serve me better if they weren't stacked right here, I should put them somewhere else."

And it was then that it lightening hit me and I realized my mother had been right all along.  Dang, I hate when that happens.

*My mother was never a tyrant.  I may have called her that once or twice when I was young and naive but I will forever be grateful for the skills she drilled into me when I was younger.  Even if they include my own faults.