Thursday, February 23, 2012

Errant Thought Roundup 55 - Guest Post!

A couple of weeks ago, I received a sweet email and a beautiful ETR from a reader named Andi.  Pretty thoughts like this need to be shared...enjoy!

Dear Kendra,

I recently started following your blog after seeing one of your posts on Pinterest.  I absolutely enjoy reading your ErrantThought Roundups and wanted to share with you my ETR I wrote for my daughter, Alesandra (Ali).  Her 3rd grade class also does Star Student of the Week and one of the things parents are asked to do is write a letter about their child.  I used your poem to help consolidate some of the randomness.  If you like it, feel free to use it!  Thank you for sharing your life, thoughts and faith!


I love, I love, I hate, I hate,
I like, I wish, for goodness sake...
I hope, I hope, I pray, I pray,
I will, I won't, and for today...

I love that Ali doesn’t think she is too old to kiss me goodbye in front of her friends (this is special to me)
I love
 seeing that Ali shares my passion for reading.  Seeing her curled up, lost in a book that she has read for the 100thtime makes my soul sing.

I hate
 being away from Ali during the school day.  When she was homeschooled, I loved seeing the light bulb go off each time she grasped a new concept. Now, even if she thinks nothing exciting happens, I long to hear about her day at school.
I hate that mistakes are frowned upon.  We all make them.  It is what we take from them.  We are not perfect.  I need to be reminded of that more than I wish to admit.  I hope that Ali learns that mistakes are things to learn from and grow on.  They help us become a wiser, more forgiving people.   
I like seeing the relationship between Ali and her brother grow.  Hearing them giggle and conspire with each other.  I hope she is always able to enjoy that special friendship, remembering that Nico was her first best friend.
I wish Ali all the confidence I lacked growing up.  I wish I could heal her hurts and kiss away the pain.  I wish her the strength to stand up for what she believes in, to be a defender of all people.
For goodness sake, be a kid! Don’t grow up too fast!  Learn not to take yourself too seriously!
I hope that Ali realizes that life isn’t about “ME.”  If we focused more on “WE,” the world would be so much better!
I hope I never take my relationship with Ali for granted.  She is so precious to me and has given my life purpose and meaning!
I pray daily for Ali to grow into a Godly woman, that she will be grounded in her faith and continue to make good choices
I pray that even when I feel like I am the worst mother in the world, Ali will still think that I am awesome.
I will support Ali’s decision to be a vegetarian.  And if she wants chicken (or any meat for that matter), I will fix it for her and not say a word. 
I won’t force Ali into a cookie cutter mold.  She is a unique creation and there is a special plan for her. 
And for today, and everyday, I will make sure that I not only tell Ali how much I love her but show her as well!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Errant Thought Roundup 54 - Guest Post!

My friend Katy has whipped up tonight's fabulous ETR.  There are people in the world that you are grateful to have the opportunity to precious friend Katy B is one of those people in my world. She is lovely inside and out - enjoy tonight's roundup!

I love, I love, I hate, I hate,
I like, I wish, for goodness sake...
I hope, I hope, I pray, I pray,
I will, I won't, and for today...

I love... the newly discovered peaceful pace of mind when I knit. "Relaxing" on the computer means a continued bombardment of stimulation, thoughts and ideas. Counting stitches means you do nothing more than count. Occasionally my brain will sprint away, after an errant thought -- do you see what I did there? -- but it always returns to the soft yarn, and the mezmerising "1.... 2.... 3." Then the inevitable curse as I realize I've miscounted or misknit.

I love... my son, my husband, the bubble we have created for ourselves. It's taken five years of living in rural Oregon for me to catch a glimpse of God's purpose for us here, and it is coming tantalisingly closer. I am secure in the knowledge that our feet are on the right path, and am humbled by the ripple effect of our actions. God is love; God is good.
I hate ... the concept of hate. I wish it didn't exist. But I feel it myself, as a secret guilty pleasure. So....I hate... people who meddle just for the sake of meddling. I have encountered three truly Machiavellian snakes in the grass in my life, and while I was fortunate enough to escape the first two -- although the damage scarred deep -- I am currently dodging the third. Seriously people -- do you have nothing better to do in life? Are you the existence of evil? If only I had the energy that you so freely spend on negativity and manipulation!

I hate... that I am procrastinator with a sense of entitlement. If this character flaw were a limb, I would chop it off in a heartbeat. What is it that makes me think "I won't do that now, because it's not important enough to me? Because I'm better than that?" I despise arrogance in other people, so how do I tolerate an innate feeling of superiority within myself? This sentiment has had a good go at torpedoing my marriage and my dream job on several occasions. And still it bubbles up if I don't ask daily for help against it.

I like... that Norah kitty likes to sleep cuddled up next to me, and has such a lack of kitty etiquette that this often means she flops onto my face, upside down, in the wee small hours. None of this sleeping out of arm's reach at the foot of the bed! The same lack of kitty etiquette means that she is happiest when her belly is curled up around my hand, as if it were a human hot water bottle. Nibbles and claws only come out when you try to pull your hand away!

I wish ... with all my heart that Theron will grow up happy and relieved of fear. It is so hard to watch him paralyzed with anxiety and turning away from or alienating other children who only want to reach him.

For goodness sake.... How can anyone be expected to do any work in the middle of a Nerf war, and people comparing our new printer to the most annoying sound ever? Loudly, on repeat, ad nauseum? Time to retreat into my headphones....

I hope... that opening our family home to include my mother in law is an enriching positive experience. She raised an amazing human being for a son, and I'm looking forward to her positive influence raising her grandson.

I hope... that this ETR doesn't fall short of Kendra's expectations. I hold her in a great deal of esteem and procrastinated out of ETR #53 because I didn't know if I could write one that was good enough. But here I am! Writing!

I pray... the Lord's prayer. Isn't it amazing that one prayer can encapsulate really everything that needs to be said? I never knew that when reciting it without thought at seven years old. But now I savour every word.

I pray... for long-hoped for dreams to be bestowed upon those that are wishing so hard for them to come true.

I will...  probably need another cup of tea to make it through to lunchtime. If only I had some Hob-Nobs -- quite possibly the most delicious biscuit ever.

I won't... Let the quest for Hob-Nobs tempt me away from my very important to do list. Damn you and your distractability, damn you!

And for today... God grant me serenity, courage, wisdom, and sobriety, one day at a time.


Thank you, sweet Katy - and I find it hysterical that you "didn't know if you could write one that was good enough" since you're my official go-to proof reader.  Visitors -- Katy is a real live book editor in her spare time.  I'm nervous even typing these sentences...I'm sure my grammar is bad...or something.

Happy Thursday!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Infertility - Part II

I haven't updated you in a while, and I definitely need to journal this because otherwise, in 10 years (when I have a house full of children?), I won't believe I was ever here, and I might forget to appreciate everything I have.

The last you heard (did you hear?), I was on try #22.  I am not sure if I'm technically on try #25 or #26 right now.  I'll explain in a sec.  To catch you up:

#1-21 - Failed.  Various reasons.  See previous post.
#22 - November - Failed - overstimulated ovaries.  I had more mature follicles than the doctor was comfortable moving forward with.
#23 - December - Failed - cysts.  I had four cysts at the start of my cycle, so we couldn't move forward with treatment.  We tried on our can see how that worked out.
#24 - January - Failed - I called the doctor on a Friday, left a message.  Saturday twice, left messages, and Sunday once and left a message.  His pager was broken, so it caused me to miss my day 3 appointment.  As anyone in the fertility business can tell ya, if you miss your day 3 appointment, the cycle is pretty much void - at least with my current level of treatment.  We tried on our own. can see how that worked out.
#25 - February - Failed - I really thought this was the month.  I started a lower dose of my injections on day 2.  Today, I went back to the doctor to check on my hormone levels and to see how the follicles were progressing.  There were 6 that were growing -- he was hoping to decrease the dosage again and get us down to about 4 good ones - perfect!  I got a phone call from him this afternoon, and I could tell something was wrong.  My progesterone levels are too high this month.  That means I have a cyst again - at least one.  The cycle will be more medications, and certainly no IUI.

You know that feeling when you're trying to hold back your emotion and it becomes so intense that your throat burns?  I actually didn't let even one tear well up to the point of falling.  My eyes were wet, but no tears fell - I took some deep breaths.  I stared straight ahead.  I avoided facebook.  I did a good job. that brings us to try #26 which I guess I'm technically on right now (even though it won't really start until after my next cycle starts sometime in March).  Next month he's going to try something a little different.  I'm not looking forward to the changes -- they mean more medication.

So that's it.  Nothing too exciting.  Nothing earth shattering.  Nothing that many women before me haven't also deeply understood.

And the following little journaling exercise is for my 40 year old self.  Feel free to eavesdrop if you feel so inclined.

Hear this: I appreciate Sadie (my easy baby) more now than I could have imagined 5 years ago.  I appreciated her then - I loved her with every ounce of my soul, and figured out fast that there isn't a word big enough to describe the way I felt about her.  "Love" just didn't do it justice.  I remember wishing there was a word that meant, "You mean more to me than my next breath."

I still feel that way.

But  The gratitude I feel for her is indescribable.  What a gift my child is...there are no words.  God set our 6 sextillion ton world world in motion on a perfect 23 degree tilt with seasons and oceans and mountains and orbit and a sun and a moon and beauty and wholeness and wonder - it's in a galaxy more vast than we can comprehend which is inside of a universe that baffles even the most brilliant minds on the planet (to speak nothing of you and me).  He did all of that...and he gave me Sadie.  I love her further than the expanse of the universe.  That's as close as I can come to describing it...and it's still not quite right.  God has taught me a gratitude for her in the last 2 years that has shown me the meaning of true, soul-wrecking, eternal, boundless, bleed-into-you kind of love.

If nothing else comes of this journey, I have learned one solid lesson:  You don't realize what a miracle you have until you - realize - what a miracle you have.

And as Job (the quintessential sufferer) said, "You are talking like a foolish woman.  Shall we accept good from God and not trouble?"  (Job 2:10).  I'm taking what I've been given...the good with the trouble.  Because I wouldn't trade my "good" for anyone else's "good" in the world.  If I can be selfish enough to say that, then I certainly shouldn't hope to trade my "trouble."  

And now, I'm off for my impromptu date with The Wonder Years, and a (few) glass(es) of wine.

Yours in hopefulness that magically renews itself every month,

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Errant Thought Roundup 53: Guest Post!

ETR #53 Courtesy of my super fantastic friend Dave.  Enjoy!


Dave - photo used without his permission.  Sorry, Dave.

Errant Thought Roundup - Dave Edition V2.0:

I love, I love, I hate, I hate
I like, I wish, for goodness sake...
I hope, I hope, I pray, I pray,
I will, I won't, and for today...

I love how my son is not afraid to be silly. He has the best cheesy
smile. I hope he never loses that.

I love being Canadian.  We may seem quirky to the rest of the world,
but I've yet to see any reason not to stand tall and be proud of my
Canadian roots, eh?

I hate two things.  Those that are intolerant of other peoples
cultures, and the Dutch.

I hate hate.  Seriously, who has time for it?  They say a hater's
gotta hate.  I hate that.

I like that my son loves Dr. Suess books.  They are so much fun to read.

I wish there was another 'I love' section so I could further express
my love of Dr Suess.  He is an amazing poet.

For goodness sake, please stop talking about Dr Suess!

I hope no one takes offense at the Dutch crack.  My wife is Dutch, and
I love her to pieces... I am actively working on duplicating her. The
Dutch are awesome.  It is a joke... really.  trust me.

I hope somebody laughs at these jokes... I worked hard on them!

I pray for snow.  You all may be sick of it already, but in North
Carolina we didn't get any, and I think we're due.

I pray for sanity in the elections.  For those that can vote, please
cast yours on the quality of the candidates character, and the ability
to lead, and not on the best hair cut and cheesy "trust me" smile.  We
need role models, not super models.

I will try.  It is the best I can do.  I am human, so a promise I
can't give.  But I can certainly try.  I promise!

I won't push my son to be a doctor, fireman, computer geek, or
anything else. My job is to expose him to the wonders of the world,
and guide him on the path best for him, not me.

And for today I will look at my wife, look at my kid, look at my dog,
and smile.  These are the things happiness is made of.


Thanks, Dave :)  You continue to be the bomb.  You're almost as awesome as your wife.

If you think Dave's witty, you should see his blog.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

30 Before 30 - FINISHED!

This is my last 30 Before 30 post...I feel like I'm saying goodbye to an old friend.  I started my 30 Before 30 because of an acquaintance.  She has no idea that she was my inspiration, and I'll probably never tell her.  I read an article about her - she had accomplished something absolutely, stunningly incredible before she turned 30, and the article called it out... "Look at this chick - she did this amazing thing and she's still in her 20's!"

I stood in front of the mirror the day that I read that article and thought to myself, "what am I going to be able to say that I did that was 'amazing' by the time I turn 30...anything?" {chirp.  chirp.} That's when it occurred to me...a small personal goal like reading 30 books may not seem big to most people, but it will be huge for me.  And it was.

Here's what I've learned over the past 18 months:
1.  Although most of them are incredible, there are also some really crappy books on 'top 100' lists in this world.
2.  I am capable of setting a goal and accomplishing it...that's a new thing for me.
3.  I love to read.  I had forgotten how much I loved to read.
4.  I want my daughter to appreciate the written word.
5.  It doesn't matter who sees you accomplish something - do it for you.

And absolutely the most important thing that I learned during this adventure was this:  If I hadn't done my 30 Before 30 challenge, I would still have more to be proud of than I would have possibly been able to articulate 18 months ago.  Most importantly, my family...a husband who has loved and supported me since we were teenagers, and a precious little girl who, quite frankly, is the most amazing kid on earth (sorry moms...yours can be second best, though, k?).  I made it through college, lived in a foreign country, sacrificed comfort for a dream, took risks, and proved to myself that I can leave a legacy that doesn't end with being "just a hard worker" or, in fact, "just a mom."  I am greater than the sum of my parts.  And so are you.  Putting myself into a box of "what have I accomplished" wasn't fair to me...we only get a few rides around the sun, and while I'm absolutely going to set goals and work hard to achieve them, I'll be content if the only thing else I ever accomplish, is living (like...the "real" living and not the "surf the web all night" kind of living).

So...with all of those fun lessons learned, here's my trophy:

30 books
12,486 pages
535 days
and I came in 5+ months ahead of my deadline.

I'm really proud of myself...I don't care if no one else in the world means something to me to have finished this.

I'm going to keep my "I'm Reading..." sidebar widget...because I'm going to keep reading.  If you'd like to keep up with the book-of-the-moment, it'll be there! :)

Monday, February 6, 2012

30 Before 30 - War and Peace

War and Peace.  I really have no idea where to start talking about this book.  No idea.  

I'll start here:
War and Peace is worth the read.  It was so painful to get through the first 400 pages.  If you asked me if I liked it, I told you, "OMG THIS IS THE WORST BOOK EVARRRRRRRRR."  Buutttttt...I've changed my mind.  

I can't do a spoiler for you - there's just no way...the story is too long.  It's a historical fiction - and a brilliant one.  There is a fictional plot completely (and intricately) woven into the factual history of Napoleon's invasion of Russia.  If you know how the war ends, then there's your's history, right?

I literally dog-eared and pen-marked ALL of the following little tidbits just for you! Please don't look a gift horse in the mouth.  For the love of all that is good in this world, try to read my top 10 "why I loved it" quotes. I know they're moderately long, but they're so good, and let's face probably aren't going to get around to reading this book any time soon, but you should *at least* know something about it, right??!  Also, I typed them all out and held my breath the whole time hoping you would read them...I know you will...because you love me.  

Here ya go:

Why I Hated It At First:
I hated the first 400 pages for sentences like this:
"At that moment Boris saw distinctly what he had an inkling of before that is, that quite apart from that subordination and discipline, which is written down in the drill-book, and recognised in the regiment and known to him, there was in the army another and more actual subordination, that which made this rigid, purple-faced general wait respectfully while Prince Andrey - of captain's rank - found it more in accordance with his pleasure to talk to Lieutenant Drubetskoy."

That paragraph right there?  It's ONE freaking sentence.  One.  Try to read 1100 pages worth of THAT. 

BLECH.  You would have hated it too.

But....Why I Love It Now:
1.  Part Nine, Chapter I - the entire chapter...It's the reason I started loving this book.  I'd type it all here, but you'd die of "why-is-she-putting-me-through-this?"  If you don't want to read the whole book, please just read that chapter.  It's so'll get a really good feel for all of his work.
2.  Paragraphs like this one making fun of Napoleon Bonaparte (he had just been given a painting of his son playing a game of cup-and-ball with the earth as the ball):  
"He felt that what he might say or do at that moment would be historical.  And it struck him that the best line he could take at that moment, at the height of his grandeur - so great that his child was playing cup and ball with the earth - would be to display, in contrast with that grandeur, the simplest, fatherly tenderness.  His eyes were veiled by emotion; he moved up, looked round for a chair (a chair seemed to spring up under him), and sat down, facing the portrait.  At a single gesture from him, all withdrew on tip-toe, leaving the great man to himself and his feelings."
In other words, according to Tolstoy, everything Napoleon ever did was completely contrived - this is a common theme in the book and it's usually hilarious.
3. Tolstoy's brilliant use of sarcasm...he is SO FUNNY, but you miss it if you aren't paying attention!  Here's a particularly witty one about the "greatness" of one of the marshals:  "Then we have descriptions of the greatness of some of the marshals, especially of Ney - a greatness of soul that culminated in his taking a circuitous route by the forests across the Dnieper, and fleeing without his flags, his artillery and nine-tenths of his men into Orsha."
4.  Tolstoy's battle with his faith:  "To that question, What for? he had now always ready in his soul the simple answer:  Because there is a God, that God without whom not one hair of a man's head falls."
5.  Understanding of human nature:  "And Pierre had won the Italian's passionate devotion simply by drawing out what was best in his soul and admiring it."  We could all learn a lot from that sentence, right?
6.  Appreciation of differences.  Not acceptance...tolerance.  "This was the recognition of the freedom of every man to think, to feel, and to look at things in his own way; the recognition of the impossibility of altering a man's conviction by words."  Whew.  I love it.
7.  Rejoicing in ALL your circumstances and realizing that the destination is always a product of the journey:  
"They say:  sufferings are misfortunes," said Pierre. "But if at once, this minute, I was asked, would I remain what I was before I was taken prisoner, or go through it all again, I should say, for God's sake let me rather be a prisoner and eat horse-flesh again.  We imagine that as soon as we are torn out of our habitual path all is over, but it is only the beginning of something new and good.  As long as there is life, there is happiness.  There is a great deal, a great deal before us.  That I say to you."  
8.  This specific analogy about how different historians see events in different ways (please read's applicable to how you and I view different events in life):
"A bee settling on a flower has stung a child.  And the child dreads bees, and says the object of the bee is to sting people.  A poet admires the bee, sipping honey from the cup of the flower, and says the object of the bee is to sip the nectar of the flower.  A beekeeper, noticing that the bee gathers pollen and brings it to the hive, says that the object of the bee is to gather honey.  Another beekeeper, who has studied the life of the swarm more closely, says the bee gathers honey to feed the young ones, and to rear a queen, that the object of the bee is the perpetuation of its race.  The botanist observes that the bee flying with the pollen fertilises the pistil, and in this he sees the object of the bee.  Another, watching the hybridisation of plants, sees that the bee contributes to that end also, and he may say that the bee's object is that.  But the final aim of the bee is not exhausted by one or another, or a third aim, which the human intellect is capable of discovering.  The higher the human intellect rises in the discovery of such aims, the more obvious it becomes that the final aim is beyond its reach.  All that is within the reach of man is the observation of the analogy of the life of the bee with other manifestations of life.  And the same is true with the final aims of historical persons and nations."
9.  Tolstoy's analysis of what life is really all about:  "He could not live because all men's instincts, all their impulses in life, are only efforts to increase their freedom.  Wealth and poverty, health and disease, culture and ignorance, labour and leisure, repletion and hunger, virtue and vice, are all only terms for greater or less degrees of freedom." 
10.  Why human consciousness can't be "proven" but somehow still exists...priceless:
"There is no soul and no free will, because the life of man is expressed in muscular movements, and muscular movements are conditioned by nervous activity.  There is no soul and no free will because at some unknown period of time we came from apes, they say, and write, and print.  Not at all suspecting that thousands of years ago all religions and all thinkers have admitted - have never, in fact, denied - that the same law of necessity, which they are now so strenuously trying to prove by physiology and comparative zoology.  They do not see that natural science can do no more in this question than serve to illumine one side of it.  The fact that, from the point of view of observation, the reason and the will are but secretions of the brain, and that man, following the general law of development, may have developed from lower animals at some unknown period of time, only illustrates in a new aspect the truth, recognised thousands of years ago by all religious and philosophic theories, that man is subject to the laws of necessity.  It does not advance one hair's-breadth the solution of the question, which has another opposite side, founded on the consciousness of freedom.  If men have descended from apes at an unknown period of time, that is as comprehensible as that they were fabricated out of a clod of earth at a known period of time (in the one case the date is the unknown quantity, in the other the method of fabrication); and the question how to reconcile man's consciousness of free will with the law of necessity to which he is subject cannot be solved by physiology and zoology, seeing that in the frog, the rabbit, and the monkey we can observe only muscular and nervous activity, while in man we find muscular and nervous activity plus consciousness.  The scientific men and their disciples who suppose that they are solving this question are like plasterers set to plaster one side of a church wall, who, in the absence of the chief superintendent of their work, should in the excess of their zeal plaster over the windows, and the holy images, and the wood-work, and the scaffolding, and rejoice that from their plasterers' point of view everything was now smooth and even." [emphasis mine].  WOW!
Ok - I'm done...those were the most impactful pieces of the book for me.  By the time I was finished reading it, I was so sad to let it go...I probably won't ever read it again, but I'll recommend it to anyone who asks.  

How I Feel Today...


Sunday, February 5, 2012

30 Best Friend Memories for My Best Friend's 30th Birthday

Your best friend only turns 30 once...I normally try to at least blog on time, but since I've never *really* done anything on time in my entire life, I figured I wouldn't disappoint her by doing this one thing promptly.  She'll get her present sometime in July (just in time for MY birthday!).  In honor of the only person in the world who could possibly "get" all 30 of these references, please enjoy:  

"30 Best Friend Memories for My Best Friend's 30th Birthday"

1.  Spending hours on the houses...washcloths and porcelain serving bowls:  best. furniture. ever.

2.  Moving from side to side with Mario...or Luigi.

3.  Dipping two fries at a time...the "cool" way.

4.  Sleepovers!

5.  That chick...and that other dude...

6.  Mokey's ugly sweater...and the Trash Heap


8.  The "first" BFF :)

9.  Rex Chapman's autograph...

10.  I was so jealous you had Molly...

11. ...Didn't you like that dude on the right?  What's-his-face?

12.  For hours...and hours...

13.  ...and hours in the back bedroom of your house.

14.  Do you remember the horrendous pink dresses?

15.  Pop that arm, girl ;)

16.  Oh, Lawd...we were just like Flashdance...look at those amazing bangs.  Amazing.

17.  Step in, step out...introduce yourself!  "My name is Heather, uh huh, I'm in the first grade, uh huh, I like the Tarheels, uh huh" (Go Broncos!)

18.  The windows! (sweet gig)

19.  I never could bring myself to pay attention to the games...the pizza scream was fun, though!

20.  Matthew 5:16

21.  These...for soda:

22.  Senior week...for like 5 years in a row.

23.  Please don't kill me for this one...

24.  I don't know a single human on the face of the planet who has a picture of the late, great...
Yesterday's..."Hickory's Pleasure Dome"
but I had to include it...because we rocked "teen night" like nobody's business.

25.  Bubba.

26.  Shampoo.


27.  Rummy on the porch...

28.  Mine had tassels :)

29.  Beside me...

 30.  Still beside me...

I love you, and I'm so thankful you were born.  Thirty looks amazing on you....and this is going to be our best decade yet -- it's already off to a good start, right?

Happy Birthday to the person who knows me better than anyone else in the world (sorry about that).

All my love forever,


Friday, February 3, 2012

Errant Thought Roundup 52: Guest Post!

My sweet friend Liz was gracious enough to write tonight's awesome Errant Thought Roundup.  In fact, I have such good friends, that the ETRs are lined up for the next 3 weeks - woohoo! :)

I told you it was going to be a hectic week.  So hectic, in fact, that I collapsed last night before ever posting this.  I'm so sorry, Liz!  You are worth the wait, though, my dear - this roundup is fabulous...


It is hard to believe that I have known Kendra for over a decade! We met in college in 2001 and I have been lucky to have her in my life ever since. And if you are anything like me, you must look forward to her blog entries with gleeful anticipation. So of course I jumped at the chance to help her out during this busy week and submit an Errant Thought Roundup. (I've secretly been wanting to for a long time, haha!)

I love, I love, I hate, I hate,
I like, I wish, for goodness sake...
I hope, I hope, I pray, I pray,
I will, I won't, and for today...

I love Disney. I just got back from running the Tinkerbell Half-Marathon during my first trip to Disneyland and I'm still on a bit of a high. I worked at Walt Disney World in college and visited Tokyo Disneyland during my year studying abroad, so it was great to get a chance to compare them both with the original. While it felt so much smaller, there really is something special about it. I tell ya, I teared up like a baby during the fireworks, parades, and laser light water shows. I even stood in line for 30 minutes to see Rapunzel and Flynn - and I regret nothing. (No, there were no children in our group of five adults. Unless you count our mental age!) Disney is definitely my happy place and I'm glad to have a many more magical memories from this recent trip.

I love my husband. There is nothing like a trip to Disney to reaffirm how lucky I am to have him in my life. My friends have lovingly referred to me as a Park Nazi thanks to my park map marking, schedule making ways. I have always been a firm believer in opening and closing amusement parks - you have to get your money's worth! While Michael did insist I take it easier this time around due to the half-marathon midway through our trip, he was still extremely supportive of every attraction I wanted to ride and show I wanted to see. At the end of the day it always came down to just me and him and he never uttered a complaint. He even woke up at 5am the day of my race and met me on the course 4 times to cheer me on. His sense of humor and positive attitude is an inspiration to me every day and helps to keep me grounded. 

I hate that some people seem to feel like it is okay to cheat the system - especially when that system includes your job, which negatively affects the co-workers around you and the company that has supported you. I certainly do not want to be a tattletale, but I do feel bitter about their actions because they are getting benefits for poor behavior while I am getting less for doing the right thing. But I am trying to accept doing the right thing as reward enough while inwardly hoping kharma evens the field eventually.

I hate that I can over analyze some things to the point of souring mostly wonderful events due to minor hiccups. It is a major issue that I believe I am finally taking responsibility for and working actively to overcome. 

I like wine. I gave up drinking for the last month before the half-marathon in order to aid hydration and training. It definitely helped, but there was nothing quite as sweet as that first glass of wine at dinner after the race. Having anything in moderation really makes you to appreciate it all the more when you get to have it again. I've been doing that a lot with sweets and alcohol and I highly recommend it. 

I wish I would be happier with everything I have and stop wishing for more. I am so lucky to have everything I do have and I honestly need for nothing. But if I do decide that I want something else, I wish for the strength to work hard for it instead of acting as if I am entitled to it.

For goodness sake people should just stop being negative. And this is coming from the Queen of Negative Nancy's on a bad day. (We often dislike in others what we dislike in ourselves, after all.) But I at least try to avoid spewing negativity willy nilly. I talk openly and candidly with those I love, trust, or think can help me overcome the issue. But I feel like there are so many folks who just complain to the wind. That does not fix anything and really makes you a drag to be around quite frankly.

I hope I am a good friend and can continually improve my friendship skill set. I feel like I have been blessed with some pretty spectacular friends and I am not sure I always make my appreciation for them as clear as I would like.

I hope I can stop being so hard on myself. Even when I manage to accomplish some great things, I tend to still worry about all of the things I have not done. Which then belittles all the work I have done and is not productive at all. 

I pray Michael and I have made the right decision in waiting to start a family. I worry sometimes about our ages and complications associated with having kids a little older. Logically I know that we have time, but I'm still anxious about health concerns, my parents being able to have time with a grandchild, and our ability to be active with them as they grow up. Not to mention still debating at times whether or not to have kids at all. I'm hoping to figure out the answers along the way. 

I pray that I find a rewarding career. Last year I took a risk by leaving a steady job with a good company to pursue a year-long contract position in a different field. I want this year to help me learn more about myself and exactly what I want. So far it has been an extremely interesting experience and I believe I may finally be headed in the right direction.

I will start studying my Japanese. I took it for six years, but that was six years ago. Now we are talking about possibly visiting Tokyo in the fall and I do not want to struggle unnecessarily with the language. I recently found a local learning group and I am going to contact them about classes this week.

I won't stop running. I worked very hard the last month of my half-marathon training mostly out of fear of doing badly. Now I am feeling stronger and healthier, so I want to continue improving my pace. I also want to stick with running consistently. I am already looking for my next race!

For today I am so grateful that I got a chance to contribute to Kendra's beautiful blog! Every entry is a highlight to my day and I look forward to many more posts. 

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