Thursday, December 31, 2009

Christmas 2009 Recap

It never fails to feel like Christmas until the day after especially since graduating from college.  Does this mean I am getting old?  eh, probably.  I guess, that's life.

The Todd's 2nd Christmas together was quite enjoyable.  Since we spent Thanksgiving at the beach this year, we spent Christmas Eve and Day with Daniel's mom's side.  It's funny how God works.  Last year we did the opposite:  Thanksgiving in Maylene and Christmas at the beach.  With everything that happened over the past couple of weeks, we were both glad to stay in town and spend time with his side.

Friday, December 18th Sis, Mamski, and Dad came over for the Brindley Christmas gift swap.  It was super fun and we ordered Hungry Howie's (one of mom's favs).  It was good to spend time with them since it has been and will be harder to get the 6 of us together.  I am sad to say that we missed Josh not being there.  He was there in spirit though.  The next day (Saturday, December 19th) was the Schmitt Christmas at Granmolli and Granddaddy's house.  Our family is gorwing and adding new members by marriage and birth every year.  It's hard to believe that Sis and I don't necessarily have to sit in the kitchen nook anymore since we are older now.  The nook is reserved for the newest generation.

Monday, December 21st Daniel, Mamski, Jane, Rhiannon, and I went to the airport to wish Sissy a safe flight to Germany.  She officially moved there on a temporary basis.  Everyone did very well with keeping it together until it was time to say our good-byes.  Thankfully, we can skype with her so missing her hasn't been too bad.

Thursday, December 24th we spent the day cleaning and other various tasks.  I finally finished with both of the dogs' Christmas fleece blankets.  I decided that it would be a great idea to make each dog their very own fleece blanket.  They are used to sleeping on one of our good blankets at night.  I was tired of having it smell like dog and not being able to use it for myself.  After hours of hard work, I finished both blankets and they are super cute!  Jackson may love his more than Tyson does, but it's okay.  They are both being used and I have my blanket back.  Christmas Eve night we ate supper at Uncle Tommy and Lynda's house. 

Friday, December 25th we woke up to Santa having been at our house.  The dogs laid around on their blankets while playing with some of their new toys.  Daniel surprised me (like he always does) with more gifts than I had purchased for him.  Our plan was our new bedroom tv was our Christmas gift to each other.  Obviously Dnaiel didn't think that was enough so he managed to give me a new watch, how to speak German, Germany travel book, and lots of candy.  After getting ready, we went over to his mom's house for breakfast.  That night everyone came over to our house for "homemade" lasagna.

The sad part about this Christmas is that Daniel and I did not get one picture together.  I am sad about that.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Jackson and Tyson in front of the tree (the best we could do)

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas!  Jackson and Tyson sure did!
(more to come on that later.)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

letting go

2009 is coming to an end and there has been so much to happen!  Daniel and I completed our first year of marriage.  I must say I think the second year will be harder than the first though.  We are slowly settling into the married life.  I must thank Mom and Dad right here, because they prepared me for letting someone know what is going on all the time.  Little did I know that they were prepping me for marriage when they would ask 50 million questions about what I was doing, where I was going, when I was going to be home, etc.

Enough about that...

2009 for me has been the year of "letting go".  I have learned to let go of a lot of things:  Sis, MeMe, friends, my perception of other people, caring about what others think, and frankly just the reality of my life as I know it.

Monday, December 21:  I said "good-bye" to my little sister.  She stepped on the plane to travel halfway around the world to start the rest of her life with her husband, Josh.  It's weird to think that Sis and I are old enough to be married.  I still think of her being in elementary school.  I will miss her while she is there.  She missed me while I was at Auburn and in some ways, Germany is her Auburn.  The difference is that she can't drive 2 hours and be home.  I look forward to visiting her and Josh while they are there.  The Todds and Pates will reunite in the summer of 2010.

Monday, December 14:  Daniel and his family tragically discovered that MeMe had passed away.  It hit his entire family very hard, because she was the rock/glue of the family.  She was precious and always had a smile on her face.  When I first met everyone, she was the one to welcome me with open arms.  She always had to give a hug and kiss when she saw you and before you parted ways.  I will miss her humor and laugh.  In some ways, I feel like she is still here watching over us.  We will miss you, MeMe....until we meet again.

It never fails.  The circle of friendship comes and goes as if on cue.  I have learned to let go of best friends through various stages of my life.  No friendship has been easy to let go, but this one in particular has.  There's no need for details, because at the end of the day, it's really not important.  In this situation, I have learned that you can tell a lot about a person's character by the way they handle a disagreement/argument.  Being stubborn and prideful only get you so far in life and then comes reality.  Secondly, there's no need to try to patch things up when the other person has deleted you from their life.  Friendships come and go in life.  Do I regret certain friendships?  Never.  They have made me who I am today.  I have learned more from that one friendship than I could ever learn in a classroom.  Do I still love this person?  With my whole heart.  Like I said before, friendships come to an end, but one chapter's end is another one's beginning.

It has taken my 25 years to truly understand that everyone is different.  Not everyone was raised like me.  I know you might think this is an elementary concept, but I have learned hard-core just how different two people can be.  I learned in college what it meant to have an open-mind about my surroundings.  At the time, that was a foreign concept to me, but I have learned that in order to form accurate, ethical decisions you must be open-minded.  I never realized that some people don't have basic manners.  Maybe their parents didn't teach them that sort of thing:  to put others before yourself.  Basically you must live by the Golden Rule.  Yes, I must have been living partially under a rock.  How does this constitute as my letting go?  I am letting go of my "raising" perceptions of people.  In a way, it's like letting go of my expectations of people, which I have ALWAYS held people that I knew to extremely high expectations.  Not a good idea, Leslie.

If you spend your entire life worrying/caring about what other people think, you will die at a very young age.  I am not saying you shouldn't "dress to impress", but if you dress like a million bucks every day, how far up the ladder will that get you?  a minimal raise?  sure. a pat on the back?  possibly.  a thank you for your hard work?  don't hold your breath.  Sometimes you can do your best only to find out that you might as well be sitting on your hands.  Sure it's frustrating, but are you going to let that rule your life?  The great thing about your life is that you get to decide what you want to worry/care about.  Just remember:  no one is perfect including you and the other person.  I am learning to let go of the thoughts of others and learning how to truly be "free" from the criticism of others.

"Letting go of the reality of my life as I know it" might sound a bit strange to you.  Let me explain:  I feel I am destined for greatness.  (who doesn't, right?)  Ever since I was in high school, I have always wanted to help people, whether I am a teacher, financial analysist , or counselor.  There's not much that I can do help people by sitting in an office all day 5 days a week.  Don't get me wrong.  I love going to work every day.  I love the people I work with.  I just don't feel like I am really making a difference in people's lives by paying bills and invoicing for concrete utility poles.  I think I am reaching an age where I ask myself, "Leslie, what do you want to do?  What is your passion?"  I am 25, and I am only getting older.  Once Daniel and I start having kids, it will be 10 times harder to accomplish my personal goals.  This is why I am starting up my own business:  becoming a professional organizer.  I will explain in more detail later, but this is the direction that I am heading.  There's a lot to figure out, but I know that I can make a difference in someone's life.  The first person who I will make a difference in is my Aunt Jane.  Her house is my "dummy" and I am super excited about revamping her life. 

2009 is about letting go and 2010 is about imbracing the new and unknown.

Monday, December 7, 2009

from eye twitching to amazing

There's something about it.  I can't deny that I am always in a good mood when the sense of accomplishment arrives.  It's not hard...just takes time.  This is my definition of being a nerd:  a person who becomes overly estatic when something is cleaned and/or organized in a wonderful manner.  Ah yes, just call me Leslie, the Nerd. 

This past weekend Leslie, the Nerd, and her nerdy husband, Daniel, decided to take on (yet again for about the 6th time) the mess in the garage.  It drives me NUTS to see crap laying around when I know that it can be and should be put away.  I am very much the person who has always tried to put everything back in its original place once I am finished using it.  It sometimes always blows my mind that people let their clutter consume their lives.  If you just take a few minutes a day and "clean up", then you wouldn't have as big of a problem later on.  I am reminded of the preschool song that I would sing to either my MDO class or while babysitting:  the clean-up song.  It goes "clean-up, clean-up.  everybody do their share".  So simple and easy that even a preschooler can understand.

Back to the mess:
So this was a long time coming.  Daniel has been collecting various types of wooden boards in order to make his very own work bench in the garage.  I think it's great that he has that desire and actually knows how to make it!  He is handy to have around.  In the midst of the collecting, he has brought in more grass, spiders, and dirt than I am willing to let into our home.  Plus he was staking everything up in front of the "junk" pile that I am in charge of organzing/donating/decreasing until it all goes away.  So how could I organize my pile with his stuff in the way?  Yesterday we changed that.

In just about 3 hours, our garage went from making my eyes twitch to it being very livable and enjoyable to look at.  We mounted a shelf that he got from his dad.  And I must say it helps A LOT with the strorage factor.  Then I busted out the little shop-vac and proceeded to vacuum up every spider/cobweb and blade of dead grass that I could find.  Daniel worked on getting his tool box in order.  His tool box still is not as "together" as I would like it, but he has quickly reminded me that his tool box is his stuff.  Fair enough.

He borrowed a saw-type-of-a-thing from his friend so he is planning on building his workbench this week!  Yay for progress!  Once that is complete, then I will be the one holding us up with the junk pile.  I plan on tackling that this weekend though.  I really should have taken "before", "progressive", and "after" shots of the garage to have documentation of the fantastic teamwork that Daniel and I possess.  Eh, I will always remember it in my memory and that gives me nightmares just thinking about it.