Sunday, September 30, 2012


For most of my life, I have been a doer. Get it done now. No time like the present.

Then I hit my mid-30's and something changed. I slowed down and relaxed my sense of urgency. While that's really just a nice way of saying I'm now a major procrastinator, it is true that letting go of, or at least putting off,  not-so-important tasks has helped me cultivate calm.

Today I realized something equally important. Letting go is only good until the undone tasks start to create stress instead of relieve it.

Case in point:
We painted our living room several months ago. I bought new furniture and lamps, and had a vague plan for the wall space over the couch. This is what that area looks like today:

Yep. Still bare. This has been really bugging me for the past few weeks. So much so, that every time I look at that wall I scowl. Not good. The time for procrastination is over. Today I started painting some things I know I want on the wall, and put out a call to Facebook friends for a couple of other items I want. Action feels good.

To maintain my momentum, I am returning to one of my favorite organizational techniques, list making. I am trying something new and making my list time-sensitive by putting my to-do tasks on our family calendar. Everything won't get done at once, but I have a visual prompt to keep chipping away, and a reference that assures me there is light at the end of the tunnel. To maintain calm, I am admitting up front that my schedule may need tweaked now and then to accommodate changes to the kids' schedule (think extra dance practice before their parade in November), and the unplannable, such as my niece who is due in a week or so! Notice I said tweaked, not abandoned!

Are you a procrastinator? If so, are you good with that, or do you find ways to keep yourself going?

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Around Here, September 2012

Around here, my girls are deciding on Halloween costumes, changing their minds, then changing them back again.

Around here, we are enjoying spending time with our neighbors- driveway tailgating and backyard bonfires. Lots of kids running around.

Around here, we are amazed that Justin's accident happened two years ago this month.

Around here, Morgan is struggling with homework. I hate to see her dislike school so much, and it is very stressful for her and me.

Around here, Justin and I are getting ready to celebrate our 12th wedding anniversary with a little trip to a secluded cabin. Can't wait!

Around here, both girls are taking dance lessons. That makes for one long night of classes!

Around here, we all fight over the Kindle!

Around here, we are having a lot of discussions about autism. We finally sat the girls down and told them that Morgan has Asperger's Syndrome.

Around here, school papers are already stacking up and multiplying. I just signed my first permission slip of the year.

Around here, Vivian is really caught between wanting to be a big kid, and still needing to be the baby. She has decided it is hard being the little sister.

Around here, I am enjoying the cooler mornings and evenings.

Around here, we still seek patience, simplicity, and forgiveness.

Other "Around Here" posts: 2011, 2010

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Losing my Passion

As I was sitting on my front porch today watching all the neighborhood kids run around, relishing these last few weeks of outdoors time, I found myself being a little jealous of their joy. Their energy. Their passion.

I have had a lot of good things happen this year. I moved into a new position at work. I've been healthy. I've lost weight. Took a great family trip to Disney World. But I seem to have lost my passion for a lot of things I once treasured. Some of those things I can live without, and chalk it up to "people change". But some things I don't WANT to let go...taking photos, scrapbooking, blogging about more than book reviews, my role as family memory-keeper. I dropped Project 365 and only got two months in to my One Little Word project. I have only scrapped through September 2011, and have not yet printed any photos from 2012. What gives?

While I feel a tinge of disappointment, mostly I feel an awakening. A welcoming of possibilities. An excitement to recommit to these things I love. I've enjoyed browsing for some new products that might help me simplify my memory-keeping, like Project Life. I'm gathering up supplies to start prepping my December Daily project. I've ordered last year's pictures for my girls' school albums. I have two meaningful blog posts written and scheduled.

Action feels good.

Have you had a similar experience? Lost your passion and joy for something you truly love? How did you re-ignite that spark?

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Fall is in the air...

Can you feel it?

I love all the sensory experiences of fall...

crunching leaves
Pumpkin Spice lattes
football games
bonfires and S'mores
crisp air and sweaters
I also love Halloween. I'm finally getting last fall's photos into scrapbooks. Here are the girls' pumpkins from 2011.

Paper- Me and My Big Ideas, misc
Stickers- Creative Memories; Martha Stewart
Alphas- Basic Grey; Scenic Route
Other- Stickles

Saturday, September 15, 2012

The Dark Tower (Dark Tower # 7)The Dark Tower by Stephen King
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I began my quest alongside Roland in September of 2010 with The Gunslinger. I was sitting in a hospital room with my husband who had suffered a terrible accident at work. I got an email from my local library on September 8, 2012, telling me that my reserved copy of The Dark Tower was ready to be picked up. Two years TO THE DAY of my husband's accident and the day I turned to page one in this entire series. Ka.
In this final installment, Roland and his ka-tet are broken apart, over and over. It's really quite devestating to read. Through all the loss and pain, we get to witness a bit of honesty, a bit of doubt, and a bit of love...all from the bold and single-minded Gunslinger.

I honestly can't say I loved the entire book. Some parts were pretty slow, as in the previous books. I can't say I loved more appearances by Stephen King. I, as a lot of other Constant Readers, found this to be too self-indulgent. After reading the Coda, I am content with his explaination. I can't say I loved the ending, because it was almost too unfair to be true.

I can say I loved the journey.

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Friday, September 14, 2012

Book Review: Trace by Patricia Cornwell

Trace (Kay Scarpetta, #13)Trace by Patricia Cornwell
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I just don't know. This is the second Scarpetta book I have read (admittedly out of order), and there's something I'm just not getting.

This one begins promisingly enough, with Kay and detective Pete Marino heading back to Virginia to help solve the mysterious death of a 14 year old girl. We meet some creepy people- the new chief medical examiner, for one, and our real bad guy, Edgar Allen Pogue.

"Trace" centers around trace evidence found at three seemingly unrelated crime scenes. One of these, of course, involves Kay's niece Lucy. Lucy has a wicked intellect and is about as self-absorbed and destructive as a PMSing teenager.

The story surrounding the crimes is actually pretty good- but there is too much distraction for this to be a really good book. The CME is thrown in as kind of a red herring- he has some skeletons in his closet, but we never reslove anything with him. You can feel Kay and Benton (her, what? Boyfriend? Husband? I'm not sure what he is at this point) struggling to bury their hurtful past, but no one talks about it and there is no confrontation. Some opportunities for real drama are just skated over.

I've heard the earlier Scarpetta novels are better, but I think I'm done.

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Thursday, September 6, 2012

Book Review: The Scarpetta Factor

The Scarpetta Factor (Kay Scarpetta, #17)The Scarpetta Factor by Patricia Cornwell
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I have to admit I had never read a Kay Scarpetta book before this one. I will be reading more! It reminds me of Bones, without the social awkwardness.

Kay is a Medical Examiner for the city of New York. The cast of (I'm guessing) regular characters is long, but includes Detective Marino, her computer whiz niece Lucy, and psychologist-husband Benton.

I thought this book was a nice mix of technology, medical terminology, and detective work. The crew is hunting the truth about what happened to Tori, a woman found murdered in Central Park. We learn through example that it's best to let the fact tell the sotry, instead of fitting the facts to a convenient theory.

There was not as much suspense as I had expected, but other than that, a good read.

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