Tuesday, January 12, 2010

29 Gifts Challenge - Day 5

(Again, you can read about the 29 Gifts challenge at www.29gifts.org)

One of the "rules" of the challenge is that if you miss a day of giving, you should start over, which is why I am only on day 5. I'm sure on the day that I missed that I gave something, but it wasn't good enough for me to remember, so I began the challenge again. I have to say that in the short time that I have taken on this challenge, I have felt a shift in attitude. Not only am I focusing on the positive things that I am doing for people, but I am more aware of the things that people are doing for me, as well as taking the time to do something for myself everyday.

One of the main things that I have learned so far is that in order to be considered a gift, I do not have to do anything extraordinary. A quote from the book says, "Grand gestures aren't necessary." I found myself trying to come up with "grand gestures" within the first few days, but then read that quote in the book and it changed my thinking. I also believed, within the first few days, that I could "map" out what my 29 gifts would be. However, I quickly came to realize that the gifts that are given in the moment are more rewarding, both for myself and the recipient.

I am excited by the possibilities that have come about from this 29 Gift challenge and I hope that I can get, at least, one person to take part as well.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Happy New Year!

I have been working on a list of goals for myself for 2010. I have come up with 6 so far. I am hoping to come up with a couple more in the next few days. Here are the 6 that I have for right now:
1. Be a mommy :o) I already consider myself a mommy to my 2 cats and dog, but I am hoping for a human child this year ;o) We have been trying for some time with no luck, but I know that when God is ready, he will allow me to have a baby.

2. To do the 29 gifts challenge that I mentioned in my previous post. I started it on January 1st and it's amazing how different I feel already. I find myself looking for things to "give" to people and it has allowed me to recognize the things that I have received from others as well. The fact that not everything has to have monetary value is great too.

3. Pay off my car by September! I am pretty proud of myself. We purchased the Pilot in March and I have already paid off half of it! I have adjusted my spending (i.e. making coffee at home instead of buying it every morning; not getting lunch at work, but buying Lean Cuisines or bringing in leftovers) and have found the change to be fabulous. My car loan amount has gone down and our savings account has gone up!

4. Snail mail people more. Nowadays, we are quick to email someone or Facebook them, but how often do you get notes and cards in the mail from someone just having them say they are thinking of you?! I am hoping to do more of this!

5. I plan on finishing the numerous craft projects that I started in 2009, but didn't get around to finishing. Brian and I were married in 2008 and I haven't even started a scrapbook! Our honeymoon scrapbook is started, but not finished. Plus the other things that I put aside. It's time to get them done before starting any others!

6. Last, but not least, is I want to leave little notes and gifts for Brian to find. We work different schedules and don't see each other a lot, so I think it will be nice for him to know I am thinking of him even though we aren't around each other too much. I used to leave Post-Its on the door for him to get when he got home from work, but realized I hadn't done that in awhile, so it's time to do that again. He's a great husband and I want him to know it :o)

So, that's what I have so far!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Goodbye 2009...

I cannot believe that 2009 is coming to an end. In just a short couple of days, 2010 will be here! With a new decade upon me, I have been brainstorming a couple of ideas for New Years resolutions. I am not the type of person to usually do this, but I was inspired when I came across an article about a book called "29 Gifts" (you can read about the story here: http://givingchallenge.ning.com/) Seems like such a simple thing to do, but something that I could get a lot out of.

So, over the next couple of days, as I say goodbye to 2009, I will be thinking about goals that I would like to reach in 2010. For some reason, I just have a feeling, it's going to be one of my best years yet.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Bruins season has begun!

Must be Bruins season because it's Thursday night and I am home alone! Brian and his friend are at their first "real" Bruins game of the season and are in heaven. They are season ticket holders this year, so Bruins fever hit my home a little early this year. Whatever makes hubby happy!

I have actually had some downtime this week. I feel guilty when I have nothing to do, but tonight I am not in the mood to dwell on that. I am sitting on the couch, blogging, watching Rachael Ray, and listening to Charlie go to town on his bone. Thank God for dog bones...they give me 10 minutes of play-free time in my puppy filled life!

For about the past 6 months, Brian and I have been searching for a new home. We are planning on keeping the 2 family we own, renting out both apartments, and moving to a place all of our own. After many drive-bys, 15 showings, and lots of other stuff, we have put an offer on a place. This only took place yesterday and since it's bank owned, I am anticipating that we will have a bit of a wait. The place we live in now has served its purpose for the past 4 years, but we are ready to move on. We need more space, especially for Charlie who is growing bigger (it seems) everyday! The little 3 pound baby we brought home a little over 2 months ago has quickly turned into a 30 pound dog. The house has been taken over with toys, bones, dog crates, and the like. Because of this, we need a place before a human baby comes along, whenever that may be.

And while we are on that topic...yes, we are thinking about it; yes, we have been trying; and no, it hasn't been working. It used to bug the crap out of me when people would ask, "When are you getting married?" but that was nothing compared to, "So, when are you going to have a baby?" Experiencing the journey that we have been has made me realize just how personal a question that is and I wish people would really think about it before asking. But, it's a question like, "Nice weather we're having huh?" It's a way for people to start a conversation and they assume that everyone is able to get pregnant. My answer has been, and will continue to be, "We have a puppy that we are practicing with." God willing, we will have a baby one day, but for now we have 3 "furbabies" :0)

I better get ready to focus on the Bruins game on TV. I tend to do this for the games that Brian is at so that when he gets home and talks about it, I know what he's talking about! However, House Hunters is on HGTV, so I might just have to switch back and forth!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Thankful Tuesday

I have done Thankful Thursdays before, but was feeling the need for a Thankful Tuesday!

I am thankful for:

1. My husband. He is always #1. He puts up with my new crazy schedule and although we have only seen each other for a few hours these past couple of weeks, he always tries to make the best of the time we have. Our relationship is an equal partnership, which is the way it should be! We both allow the other to be ourselves with no control whatsoever. For this, I am thankful.

2. My new part-time job! There are moments where I ask myself, "What were you thinking?" because of my new crazy schedule, but it's all been worth it! Although the job at the vet only pays $8 an hour, I am receiving a 50% discount on pet care, no charge visits, 35% discount on food, and have met some really nice people. I was looking for a change of pace in my day to day routine and this was the answer! Case in point...Charlie had a visit last week for 2 shots and a dose of Frontline. What would have cost arond $100, cost us only $32! Gotta love it!

3. Charlie (and Ollie and Sophie, but Charlie is the point here). Although there are many reasons why Charlie has made our life better, one main reason is because now that we are owners of a dog, a whole new world has been opened to us! Playdates galore, which means getting out there and meeting new people. And, I believe, that it has made us closer to Kat and Shawn because they have his sister. We have all agreed to get together once a week to hang out and let the pups play together. I have to remind myself sometimes that Kat and Shawn are family because they are so drama free that I forget sometimes! They are amazing!

4. My dad. Again, just like Charlie, there are many reasons to be thankful for my dad, but I am especially grateful for him these past few weeks. There have been many projects on our "to-do" list around the house for the past couple of years. When we returned from Florida, several of the items were done by my dad, which helped motivate us to accomplish the rest. He helped Brian build a rock wall in our front yard, gave me pointers on how to paint our front railings, and took Brian to The Home Depot to buy shutters. These small changes have had a big impact on not only our "to-do" list, but our home. He even emailed me this past weekend to ask if there was anything else he could help out with...man, I have the best dad!

5. Growing pains. I have felt myself changing in the past couple of weeks...or maybe even past couple of months. It is not always easy to change yourself, but there are things that I have noticed that need to be changed with myself, as well as how I deal with other people. One thing in particular...there comes a point in your life where you realize that you need to surround yourself with only people that make you feel good about yourself. This has proven to be difficult, as I can't get away from some of these people, so trying to find a balance with that has been hard, but I'm working on it. I'm learning that I don't always have to have the last say, that silence can speak louder than words, and that sometimes people just aren't who you thought they were.

So, those are the top 5 things that I am thankful for this Tuesday. What are you thankful for today?!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Is it really summer?!

This summer has sucked. Period. The weather has been wacky...rain like you wouldn't believe...to the point where I have to remind myself that I live in New Hampshire and not Seattle, Washington. I have had enough of the water coming down from the sky. It's old...move on to another town that needs you.

Tomorrow is the last day of July. I can't believe it...I am in denial. Again...have I said...this summer has sucked?!

I feel like the past 2 months of my life have passed me by. While Brian and I are now the owners of a new puppy, Charlie...I feel like he is growing up right before our eyes. We have had him for 2 weeks and he has already doubled in size. I can't imagine how mothers of children must feel. I think I can somehow begin to relate what my sister is going through....her baby is no longer a baby...he no longer needs her help as much as he did. My animals are the only way that I can relate to people with children. I even found myself talking to the cashier girl at Target last night about Charlie teething (which is why I was buying $20 worth of teething treats and toys!). My arms look like I have been hurting myself...Charlie seems to find my skin more appetizing than his chicken filled tubes of rubber.

In 8 days, Brian and I are headed to Florida to meet our "new" niece. I say new loosely because she is already almost 4 months old. I am worried about being around a little baby. Something about them...their smell...their smiles...gives me baby fever big time. I can't wait to meet this little girl, as well as be able to visit with Adam, Holly, and Bryson. I miss them everyday and wish that we lived closer to each other.

So, in closing for this short little blog posting, I ask Mother Nature...is there anyway that you can extend summer to last through November? We kind of got jipped this year with spring lasting into July. If this happens, maybe then I might feel like my life isn't moving quite as fast and that my days aren't just blending all together.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Soon to be mommy of 2 cats and....a dog?!?!

Ever since we got our 1st cat, Ollie, two and a half years ago, Brian has been talking about getting a dog. I kept saying that I wasn't ready...that I wanted to wait for a bigger house...blah blah. Six months after Ollie, we got our 2nd cat, Sophie. She is every bit a "scaredy cat" that you can get. The talk about getting a dog was brought up every now and then and I would still say, "I'm not ready"..."Our house is too small". Probably about a month ago, the topic was put on the table again and this time, it never really left. I found myself browsing PetFinder.com with Brian and I even did searching on my own at the local shelters. This time, I told him, "We aren't getting one unless it will get along with the cats and will be good with kids", and I said that I would research it for a bit since it was a big decision.

Fast forward to last Friday, the 3rd. I was browsing Craigslist in our area and came across a listing that was posted by a non-profit organization in Rhode Island called "Help Save One". When I clicked on their website and started browsing, I got tears in my eyes. The mission of this 2 women company is to save dogs/puppies/cats/kittens from high kill shelters in the south. Because people in the south do not have the money to spay/neuter their animals, there are an abundance of gassing shelters. (*tear). So, while scrolling through, I saw a listing for some lab puppies that were found in the woods in North Carolina. These little guys and girls were left without a mom to basically die in the woods. What is wrong with people?! How can you bring these puppies in the woods, leave them there, and expect that they will fend for themselves?! Besides upsetting me, it really pisses me off. These animals are born because their owners don't bother getting the adult animals fixed. And then they just dump them somewhere because they can't afford them. My opinion is that if you can't afford the animal, then you shouldn't have one to begin with. They're not toys or objects, they actually have feelings and all they ever want it to be loved. My cats are always waiting for me when I get home...they are always excited to see me. They roll around, wanting belly rubs and to be picked up and hugged. They never talk back to me...never give me attitude...never create drama. For anyone that has ever said, "It's just a cat" or "It's just a dog"...then you have never experienced what life is like with one.

All right...now that I went off my tangent...I'll focus a little more :O) So, our little 8 week old puppy is supposed to be arriving today. We came up with the name Riley, which was our favorite and we were 99% sure that was going to be his name. But then yesterday, I thought of Charlie (for Charlie and The Chocolate Factory) so that's my vote. Of course, Brian still likes Riley best, so maybe we will have to name him Chriley! We are planning on crate training him, so we set up his crate the other night...all cozy with towels and a pillow. Ollie thought it looked cozy too because that is where we have been finding him lately! I am anticipating that the cats will have a little bit of a tough time transitioning with a dog in the house. I know it will be hard for me because Ollie and Sophie have been my little babies for 2 years and for me to have to focus my attention on another one will be hard. But my hope is that the transition is smooth and that when we make it out on the other side, that Ollie, Sophie, and Riley/Charlie will all be cozy in the crate together :)

Today my life is about to change. I am nervous, but excited. Whenever you think about adopting an animal, please check out www.helpsaveone.org you will be so glad you did :)