Friday, September 30, 2011

A Must See

     I caught this through the magic of Facebook.  You must watch it. You must.  I cried like a baby.  Here is a description of the video.

I was born deaf and 8 weeks ago I received a hearing implant. This is the video of them turning it on and me hearing myself for the first time :) Edit: For those of you who have asked the implant I received was Esteem offered by Envoy Medical.

     Later, the technician asks, "Do you want to hear your husband...?"  At about 1:21, you can hear (I assume), her husband chuckle.  I can't imagine hearing Tim for the first time ever.  My husband has such a great laugh.*

     I hope this brings you hope or comfort or at least a smile.  Yay. It's Friday.





Love,
H.

*One time, Tim accidentally dialed me while he was in another conversation.  The voicemail he left was about 10 seconds of him going, "Yep! ........"  And then laughing.  Of course, I saved it.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A million ways to be kind

I have mentioned Meg Fee probably about a million and one times.  President of the Meg Fee fan club.  Yes.  Yes. A thousand times yes.  I don't know how I found her blog, but Her Story is a Long Story.

Then again, who's isn't?

Here is a tiny glimpse of what she's written about health, food, and body image lately.


     i also worked out that sometimes going to the gym just isn't in the cards. and so i get a massage instead. because there are a million different ways we can be kind to our bodies. and because when i'm ready i do return. and the pulsing and the squats and the pain of it all--well, my body likes it, even if i don't.


I think what hurts us- what really hurts us is the inability to forgive ourselves.

I skipped the gym.  I ate that donut.

So then we are horrible to ourselves.  At least I am.  There is this now-or-never mentality.

I ate a donut during Sunday School Hour and now my whole day life is ruined.

...Really?

What I love about Meg's post is that she is honest and she is brave and she is kind.

And her kindness makes me want to show kindness.  To myself.  To others.


You must read it.  You must.  

Love,
H.

18 days later

Here are our September Goals, but technically, I think they are our September 19th-October 19th Goals.  You know. 

Stick to an agreed upon budget for  personal items this month (guitar parts, clothing, craft supplies)

spend 50 minutes a week studying spanish (Lo s i ento por el retraso)*

memorize the books of the bible (Holly)

start/keep up with a “Healthy Living Journal” (Holly)

pay off ½ our credit card balance   

*Sorry for the delay (because these goals are late!)

(but my computer keeps auto correcting it to "sent" grrr!)  

What are some of your goals this month? 

Love, 
H. 

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Dear Future-Maybe-Son,

    I know, it seems, I spend a lot of time writing to your sister.  It's only because I know in my heart that you will be wild.  Don't get me wrong- you will be polite.  You will know how to sit and listen during story hour.  You will not (I repeat- NOT) watch wrestling.  You will say please, excuse me, and thank you.

But you will still be wild.

     I know, when it comes to you and your letters, I have to choose my words very wisely so as to not lose your attention.  You see, in my experience, sons are not like daughters.  This blog, for you, will be a passing glance- where as your sister, I imagine, will pour over the pages much like girls like to leaf through their mother's yearbooks and try on their wedding dresses.

With that being said, I'll make this snappy.

At this point, you probably think I'm kind of yucky.  Not in a "gross" or disrespectful kind of way, but more like, "I can't believe my parents are kissing/ my-mom-is-a-girl-and-girls-have-cooties."

However, right now, I am still kind of cool.

You're going to have to trust me on this one.

Unfortunately, this story will just reinforce my yuck-i-ness, I'm afraid. But there is a point.  And we will get there in time.

     You see, the other night, I waxed my toes.  That's right.  Help me remember, on your sister's 5th birthday, to remind her that whatever hair you shave, you better be prepared to maintain it for the rest of your ever-loving-life.  This warning cannot come soon enough.  At one point in time, I thought my toes were hairy.  15 years later, I'm thinking they probably weren't that bad.

Sigh.

So, I waxed.  It did not end well.  My toes were covered in sticky, warm goo.  And fuzz.

That's right. Like brown-bath-towel-pajama pants-fuzz.

So, I had to ask your dad for help.  Is there a more humbling experience?  I don't know.

Nothing worked.  Fingernail polish remover.  Rubbing Alcohol.  At one point, I wondered what cold, harsh-smelling substance was being sprayed on my feet only to realize your father had a bottle of Tilex.

I suggested peanut butter.  After all, it works with gum/hair/clothing, right?

The logic was sound.

 We were willing to try anything.

Surprisingly, It worked (my money was on the nail polish remover).  And I am forever grateful.

So, sweet child o' mine, I want to encourage you to be A Man.  Be protective.  Be resourceful.  Put your arm around her waist when you are crossing the street.  Walk her to her car.  Call her back.  Call her back.  Call her back.

But also be sure that you are sensitive and silly and gracious enough to spread peanut butter on her toes when she is in desperate need of some un-stick-ing.

And don't breathe a word during the process.

Love,
Mom

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Oskar's List

     I know the internet will be overwhelmed with blog posts, tweets, and Facebook status updates about 9/11.  I definitely do not want to be overly dramatic (because I didn't lose anyone on that day), but I absolutely dread this date every year.  Not that anyone actually looks forward to it, but the feeling seems to get worse as I get older.

     This time last year, I had just finished reading Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close which is about a boy named Oskar who loses his father in the attacks on September 11th.

   To put it bluntly, after reading it, I got a little obsessed.  I can remember spending the better part of an entire day finishing the book and then researching facts about 9/11.  Watching youtube videos.  Looking up documentaries.  The list goes on.

     I started trying to list really obscure things that would have been in the buildings at the time.  It sounded like something Oskar would do.  Someone had walked in the office and put their lunch in the fridge.  I bet someone had a houseplant on their desk.

Man, I love a good houseplant.

And listing things made me sad.

     It was sort of sick.  Really.  Not sick as in "twisted" but sick as in maybe not that healthy.  I guess I was trying to re-grieve if that's possible.  I don't know.  I think, perhaps, I was trying to make the whole thing more relatable.  I have always had a hard time wrapping my head around all of it.

     I woke up this morning with a lot of hope.  I love Cincinnati.  I love Ohio.  I adore this country.  I know we've had our mess ups.  Plenty.  But I believe we are a nation that always roots for the underdog.  We are still a nation "under God" whether people want to believe that or not.  The Bible is full of characters who have screwed up and afterwards been rescued...redeemed.

I think we are a nation in waiting.  We are waiting to be rescued by Jesus.

This weekend, I'm going to light a candle, say a prayer, and be grateful.

Be near, O God.



Love,
H.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

I'm guessing it's a lot

I remember asking my mom once for some tips on being a frugal housewife.  In short, she said it's not as hard as some people think it is.

She said, "We [our family] quit eating out so much.  I made things from scratch.  I quit running to The Sundry Store* every afternoon on my way home from the bank* to get silly things like chips ahoy cookies."

I had to laugh at that detail.  She did not simply say, "To get cookies...."  She said, very specifically, "To get Chips Ahoy Cookies."

Ha.  I wish everyone could be best friends with my mom. Wednesday, I told her I was on my way to the dentist**, and she then proceeded to tell me about how she had to get her tooth pulled the day before.  She did not spare any details.  She used words like root and nerve.  I absolutely loved her for her horrible timing.  Good thing my dentist has a dog.***

Anyway, I didn't really "get it" until just recently, and when I say recently, I mean a few days ago.

She said she made things from scratch.

Sigh.  Do you realize the price we pay for convenience?

I'm guessing it's a lot.

We love to make homemade pizza at our house.  The other night, the tube of dough fell to the floor and cracked.  By the time I used it, the air had gotten to it and the consistency was all off.

Guess what, I made some from scratch and it probably cost a few pennies.  I'm not even kidding.

I recently made breakfast burritos using a recipe from The Simple Dollar and man, they are yummy.  They save me so much time in the mornings, keep me feeling full, and are pretty good for you, to boot.  I even had one for lunch today.

I'm excited to find more "from scratch" recipes and see how much cash it can save us.

Huzzah.  What recipes are you liking these days?  I'm looking for a way to upgrade my pizza crust recipe.  We weren't 100% satisfied.  Suggestions?

Up next for us?  Homemade, taquitos for the freezer! The store bought ones are expensive AND DEEP FRIED! Yikes!

Love and I do not know how to make a long story short, but I do know how to make a short story long.
H.

*The Sundry Store was a little pharmacy/grocery store in town.  I miss places like that where you can run in for milk and take a 2 minute walk through the parking lot as opposed to now where you have to trek 5 miles all the way through Wal-mart.  Also, my mom worked at Key Bank for like, 17 years before she got hired on as office staff at The Middle School.  All her math genes somehow got lost in the shuffle between mom & fetus.  She's a whiz, and I got' nothin'.
** No cavities
***That's right. My dentist has a dog.  2 to be exact.  Sophie & Ruby.  Those gals are pretty much the only thing that keeps me from shaking in my boots the second I walk in the door.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Hey, Must be the Money

Or

What do Barak Obama, The Situation, and Justin Bieber all have in common?

     I'll explain in a minute.  But first, an anecdote, or something like that.

     One way Tim makes me want to be a better person is that he is constantly looking for ways to make money.  I don't mean that in a "holding-open-his-coat-full-of-stolen-watches" kind of way.  I mean it in a good-work-ethic-and-incredibly-rescourceful kind of way.

     It is so much easier for men to "make a quick buck."  I mean good money.  By painting/staining decks, he can make almost twice the amount I clear as a teacher in the same amount of time.  I'm not even kidding.  


     People will pay good money if it means they don't have to climb on the ladder in 90 degree weather themselves. 


     All I can tell you is that I have this nagging feeling that I should write.  If I can get some kind of compensation for the time and energy I put into this blog then so be it.  I have heard people say, "I don't blog for money."  But I think the truth is, that's like a Minor League pitcher saying to the Majors, "I won't play baseball for money."

Obviously, we are bloggers because we are writers.  It's what we do, and more than likely, what we love.  If I can get paid to do something I a.) love and b.) am going to do anyway - then why not?

So I chose to put ads on the blog through Blogher Publishing Network.

I'm actually really excited about it, and I hope you are too!

Here are 3 blogs I read that are published by Blogher.  Their morals are good, the content is awesome, and I just trust these women to make good, ethical decisions with their corners of the blogging world.


Reagan's Blob Hooray

Cjane 

LifeBlessons

During the application process, I was really relieved because there was a section in the (online) paperwork that let me indicate what I did not want to advertise.  I really respect Blogher for giving their writers that sort of freedom.

Here are a few products/topics I did NOT want to advertise, among other things:

politics, cosmetic surgery, alcohol, diet pills/supplements, and lima beans.

Another reason why I went with Blogher is because they value community and want to help women in the blogging world connect with one another, and I really dig that.

If you're interested in getting more involved with a network like Blogher, I'd encourage you to do the research or feel free to contact me with advice/questions/concerns.

I know the revenue probably won't buy us a new house or expensive appliances, but if it can put some gas in the car or add to our savings account then, by golly, I'll take it.

This was probably the most boring post ever.  I realize that at the end of the day, probably no one cares what goes on the side bar in terms of ads/no ads.  I just really appreciate having readers, and I wanted to take a second to explain the new ads.  Thanks for hanging in there.

Maybe next we'll make t-shirts.  The possibilities are endless.
Here we have Obama sporting the ever-patriotic, ever-professional white polo with a monogrammed H just below the left shoulder.  Right over his heart...awww....

 Who doesn't love a shout-out from The Situation?  

Ah...Biebs.  Thanks for reading.  

What do you think?  We're still playing around with the fonts.  Oh my gosh. You guys.  This took me so long to make.  Who wants to help me start a clothing line?  



Love and have you tried Lipton's new Mango Passion Fruit tea?  It's so refreshing!


Here is a list of things I was kidding about:
There was not an option to endorse lima beans.  Had there been one, I still would have checked, "no."
It took me 2 minutes and 30 seconds to "draw" those t-shirts.  Do not be fooled.
I'm not really starting a clothing line.
I'm totally kidding about the plug for iced tea.  Don't you know me at all by now?  I don't know if such a thing exists, but man it sounds delicious. **

**Lipton did not pay me to mention their make believe product, but it would kind of be cool if they would.

Oh yea, and the answer to the question above?  What do they all have in common?  Um. People who's photos will never again be posted on this blog.

Thanks, Thanks, a thousand times thanks.  Here's to bigger, better things ahead.
H.