Friday, April 30, 2010

Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.

Happy Friday everyone! That amazing quote is by Howard Thurman & has really impacted us this week.

The One with the Sharks
Usually when we get home from work we watch Friends & Seinfeld on TBS. This week I saw an episode of Friends that I had never seen before which was like finding a $20 in your winter coat. This episode aired on October 17, 2002 which was around the time Ben & I started dating & we were probably making out like bunnies instead of watching Friends (it’s ok mom, I can say that because we are married now).

I also saw the finale of Seinfeld which I had never seen after all these years & although I was prepped to be disappointed from every Earthling, I thought it was true to form. This originally aired on May 14, 1998 which was right around the time I graduated from high school & I was in one of those drama-filled HS relationships, so that makes a lot of sense. Ben was shocked that I had never seen the finale, but I argued that back in the day you couldn’t just watch TV shows online, download them on iTunes or buy them on DVD. No flying cars yet, but at least we have that going for us!
Random Quote of the Week
“But there are singing cats on TV!” Ben (said while justifying turning the TV off mute while I was telling him a story that I had prefaced with “Are you listening to me?”)

What’s in a Name?
As all you loyal blog readers know, my absence last Friday was due to my home staging training! It went great & I am still processing everything. Beginning next week, I will be going part-time at my job so that I can focus on starting my home staging business which I’m super pumped about! One of the top things on my list is to come up with a name for my business. I am up for suggestions with the following stipulations:
  • the word “stage” or “staging” needs to be in the name
  • I would prefer it not be location specific in case we move
  • I will not be wasting $ to be listed in the yellow pages, so it doesn’t need to begin with ‘A’ so that I will be listed first
  • I’m looking for something catchy, short & sweet
On the second day of training we got to go to an actual house on the market in Nashville, break up into small groups & stage one room. This was our room before:
And after:
Yep, that's what I do! Well friends, I hope your lives are as exciting & terrifying as ours are right now – that’s what makes the story fun, right? Here’s to taking the leap & never working another Friday again for anyone but myself!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Heavy Blankets and Horses at Night

Occasionally I have a good nightmare. I define a good one by its ability to transcend my sleep state and enter into reality-land. It must manifest itself audibly, physically, or both.

On Saturday night I was being chased by a man I had just helped after a bad go-cart accident. I ran to my grandparents' old house and began to bang on the door because I knew help was inside. I was screaming, "Help me, Help me!" Monica then woke me up telling me I was having a nightmare. I wasn't yelling "Help me" in the outside world, just unintelligible noises.

She cuddled with me for a few seconds, turned over, and fell asleep--leaving me to the post-nightmare, paralyzed fear state in the dark. How dare her! I was also really hot and way too scared to leave the safety of the covers to change the temperature.

Monica's home stager training is finally here this week and we are both excited; however, she'll be gone three nights to the young adult TN mecca Nashville. This means if I have a good nightmare, I will have to resort to the "pulling the covers over my head for a false sense of security" method. I've found the heavier the blanket the better the false sense of security.

I also have some nightmare reduction techniques:
  • No violent or scary multimedia watching after 8 PM.
  • No falling asleep with the TV on, even good TV.
  • Dealing with daily stress before I go to sleep.
  • Reminding myself that I can trust my dog to warn me of any problems on the outside world, and for her to tell me if anyone is under the bed, especially since she already sleeps halfway under it.
  • Whatever I do, don't fall asleep, especially right at midnight (thanks Mr. Krueger). I don't really follow this last one.
If all else fails, I can always remember how "nightmare" is a funny word. I mean really, I'm afraid of a horse at night? A wolf or a bear, maybe, but I think I can handle a horse.

Friday, April 16, 2010

So if you’re not the one telling the story, who is?

Friday literally snuck up on me this week – gotta love that!

K-LOVE vs. Ludacris
Ben picked me up from work one day last week & when I got in the car he was listening to rap music. Our car radio pretty much stays continually on K-LOVE with two exceptions: 1. K-LOVE is doing their insanely annoying bi-yearly fundraiser or 2. Ben gets in the mood to listen to jazz music. I was a little taken back & thought possibly that my husband’s body had been taken over by a rap music listening alien. One song we heard included the lyrics “My chick bad, my chick hood, my chick do stuff that yo' chick wish she could.” Ben said something about trying to understand Memphis better, but I’m still betting on the alien theory.

Writing Our Stories
Yesterday, Ben & I both decided to write down our stories. According to Donald Miller, a story is just a person that wants something and overcomes conflict to get it. We took a blank piece of paper & wrote “What is my story?” at the top, briefly described our current life situation & then told our exciting, adventurous story about how we wanted something (top secret stuff) & overcame conflict (unfulfilling jobs, unhealthy lifestyle, continuing to do more of the same) to get it. I can’t tell you how much energy I got from writing it down & because of that, I’ve committed to read my story every day for the next 30 days!

The Final Straw
This morning, Ben & I were getting ready in our tiny bathroom with one sink. Ben was shaving & I was brushing my teeth when I looked down in horror & realized that I was using BEN’S TOOTHBRUSH!! I will say that our toothbrushes do look exactly alike except that mine is pink & Ben’s is green on the back, so it was an honest mistake. I was torn between boiling the toothbrush in water while acting like this was a catastrophe in our marriage & simply continuing to brush like it was no big deal. Where do you draw the personal hygiene line in your marriage?

This weekend we have a fantastic camping trip planned with some close friends & next week is only a 2-day work week for me! The long anticipated home staging training is next Wed-Fri in Nashville & I am super excited! Next Friday around 5:30P I will be an ASP (Accredited Staging Professional). Very soon, Ben should get 4 little letters at the end of his name as well after he completes his final test, LMFT (Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist). That rascal, he’s always trying to outdo me:) Enjoy your weekend everyone!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Shirting the Issues

As a kid, all it took was a shirt to believe something about yourself. Some kids don't "go" as something for Halloween, they "are" that something as soon they fill the costume.
I bet I loved this shirt! I wish I still had it (in a larger size, of course). I have no doubt I believed I was the Hero of the Year. I bet it was more of an identity than a belief. My goodness, I wore it to a photo shoot!

I wonder when I quit wearing this shirt? Probably after it was stained, ragged, and too small, it didn't make the final laundry cut and went into a different bin.

I've worn a lot of shirts in my life. At some point point I began choosing the shirts I put on each day. I learned quickly which shirts to wear on certain days and around certain people. Sometimes I ask my wife what shirt I should wear. More often than not, I wear the one with the least wrinkles.

Then, there are those mornings when I open the closet and don't like any of my shirt choices and a voice in my head whispers that I'm crazy because 1) I have a voice in my head, and 2) I shouldn't complain about what I've got, much less consider shopping for new shirts. This is why a lot of my shirts are faded. I don't often wear the ones that are newer and brighter because I don't want them to get faded.

I bet when I was the age I was in the picture I knew exactly what shirt I wanted to wear! When did it get so complicated to choose a shirt?

Friday, April 9, 2010

In the spring, I have counted 136 different kinds of weather inside of 24 hours.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter! We ventured to OK & had an eventful weekend with family & friends. I wore a dress, Ben wore a spiffy new polo & we got to watch our nephews & niece hunt Easter eggs.

Holy Antarctica, Batman
When we got home from OK on Sun, the house was very musty so I turned on the A/C for the first time this season to get some air circulating. After reprogramming our programmable thermostat for spring, we left Mon morning for work. Little did we know that we would come home to a refrigerator (58ยบ) & that a kink in our thermostat would cause our A/C to run for 9 hrs. straight! Apparently, the wires were crossed, but Ben Vila called the thermostat people & was able to fix it.

Analysis Paralysis
This is a term we learned from a new book we’re reading called Switch. Basically, it means that when we are offered too many choices, our brains shut down & we feel incapable of making a decision. Ladies, if you’ve ever tried to pick out a hand soap scent from Bath & Body Works or guys if you’ve ever stood in the aisle at Home Depot scratching your head, then you know what I’m talking about.

I was at Target & found a water pitcher on clearance, but then I made the mistake of venturing to the water pitcher isle to see what ALL my options were. I was faced with pitchers in all different colors, styles, water capacity & numbers of filters included – ugh! I left Target empty-handed, but went back later in the week confident in my decision to purchase a cute, orange pitcher even though it wasn’t the best deal (Ben says we needed to “stage” our pitcher so that I will use it).

Thanks, Stranger
There are many things that you learn or pick up from your spouse that never would have even crossed your mind. One thing I’ve learned from Ben is the courtesy of getting over in the left lane at an intersection if you are the first car & are not turning right, in case someone needs to turn right on red. I have poked fun of Ben for doing this religiously many times over the years.

This week, we pulled up to an intersection & at the last minute Ben, in true fashion, changed lanes. A lady in a minivan pulled up next to us & avidly motioned for me to roll down my window (which in Memphis is always a little scary), so I did & she eagerly thanked us for getting over & said that not many people would do that. We both had a good laugh & Ben was beaming in pride for his good deed for the day.

Red Pill
Recently, since our better health kick, we have been getting those “you guys are turning into crazy hippies” looks from our friends. I feel like we are choosing between the blissful ignorance of illusion (blue) & embracing the sometimes painful truth of reality (red) when it comes to the food we eat & the chemicals we use. I don’t mind people asking us questions if they really want to know more, but sometimes it stinks when you feel like they are internally rolling their eyes. Our goal is to find a happy medium & to live longer, healthier lives.

Happy Friday everyone, I hope you enjoyed my novel blog! We plan to post pics from our Easter weekend shortly.