Thursday, January 31, 2008

Was just reading Cathy Z's blog and am now wondering how it's possible that I don't own this album?? I went to listen to it straight away on Amazon, and recognized many songs as ones that I have always loved when I heard them on the radio, but never knew who sang them. It's a musical epiphany I tell ya!
In celebration of Lost's return to TV tonight, I give you this eye-candy. Choices, choices....

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

I've had a great afternoon with Pat. We trained a bit, had lunch together, took a trip to the ten-30, where I browsed Omer DeSerres, Jysk, Winners HomeSense, and Indigo. We saw the PERFECT futon for Pat's office space (which he will officially have February 1st) - it's a super sexy, chocolate brown leather, no arm-rests... it just screams: I am a successful professional! I told him I would personally invest half its price just because he NEEDS it. Then I got all excited about plant, desk, and filling cabinet opportunities. Ah, it's so fun to be at this stage in the game.

At Omer DeSerres, I used my gift card that Pat's mom had given me as part of my x-mas present. I got a 11x8.5 scrapbooking album and some new (gorgeous) Making Memories paper and ribbon. YAY! All for 20 bucks, can't go wrong.

We also went to Safari pet store and I fell in love with various puppies and kittens. We pondered which type of dog we would one day adopt (as we are positive that we will get one from the SPCA and not from the pet store). We also looked at the parrots and it made me want to get one of those as well. We're in big trouble in the future - our house could potentially end up looking like a barn. My mother will be so mortified. LOL.

I also acquired this really cool scrapbooking book at Indigo. I can't wait to read it all and be inspired to partake in the all dares.

Today is Julie's birthday! I made her this tag. Hope you like it Julie, and hope you had a great day so far.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

My scrapping muse is back and it feels good. My desk looks like this, however. I have to really make an effort to clean up after each project!

I made this page the other night. It was based a page made by the talented Miss Mel, since there's a scraplift challenge going on at Scrapbook Centrale. Here's my interpretation of her page.

Patrick was super horrified when he saw the photo of himself (taken sometime in the 90's and given to me by Patti, whose daughter knew Pat back then). Even though he is self-conscious about this skinnier, more awkward version of himself, I love this portion of him just the same. I love having a glimpse into his life before me. It always makes me long to have known him back then (albeit I was probably only twelve and that would be wrong on many accounts). It makes me think of this book I finished reading maybe a month ago, and that I'm completely in love with. Even after I finished it, the characters stayed me for weeks. It was such a delightful and well-written story, portraying moments of sheer love and devotion through the ages. Made me all teary-eyed at the end. Although I am a very crappy critique writer and I may not have sold you on it from the previous few sentences, I highly recommend it!

In other news, my dad is continuing to improve on a daily basis. Next Friday he is allowed to come home for a weekend visit, which will be a really good thing for everyone, him especially. Things are definitely looking up.

Well, I'm off to read for school, and hopefully scrapbook a little. I don't have any concrete plans for the weekend, but that's just fine by me. I will go with the flow and appreciate my two days off.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

My world has changed drastically since my last post. A new year has come, along with new challenges. My father had a stroke nearly two weeks ago. It came as a huge shock, as he was in perfect health, exercised regularly, didn't smoke, had his cholesterol under control, etc. In recounting the event, I have been trying to push the painful details away. I no longer want to remember the moment of sheer terror, paralysis, fear of the unknown.... the emotion is so strong that I can't even pinpoint the words needed to express myself fully. Instead of allowing my mind to continually focus on that image of my father, in his weakened, helpless state, I have been focusing on the images of him in the present. The images of him getting stronger, looking healthier, talking with almost no slur, discovering the new movements of his hand, foot, leg. There has been huge progress over the past two weeks. I am so proud of the determination and strength my dad has found in himself.

This whole occurrence has often felt surreal, like I'm walking around in a blurred vision, waiting for my eyes to focus. I have been keeping things from tearing at the the seams. I am slowing starting to feel better, as I engage with different activities; discussions at school, reading, writing, being creative, watching TV, relaxing - the normal things that I take solace in. I am trying to put the guilt behind me and tell myself that such things are needed to be stress-free, and to become my optimal self. I am no good when my reserves are low; I have nothing positive to offer. I need down time, I need to feel good about myself before I can make others around me feel good. If that takes a few moments, hours, or a whole day, then I can allow it to myself. We will all be better in the long run.

I am working on engaging with things this year. I no longer want to simply go through the motions. I want to read more, especially for school, and actually value the things brought up in class. I will not let myself skip classes to the extent that I have in the past. I do feel that my classes are more worthwhile than ever this semester, because they are focusing on classroom practice, and that is what I have been craving since the very beginning. I was so inspired in my English Language Arts class yesterday - we had a book exchange/discussion day. We all talked about the books we are currently reading, our favorite books, books we want to read, and so forth. There were many books that I was dying to get my hands on. Some books were brought up that I had forgotten I had read! It made me realize how important it is now to keep a reading record. I'm also excited about the book that we're required to read for the class, as it has so many great, hands-on classroom tips on teaching effective reading and writing skills.

On top of that, I have created 4 new word documents on my computer: books I'd like to read, movies I'd like to see, quotes that inspire me, and music to look into. And of course, I'm still inspired to scrapbook, but haven't found much time to do so lately. There are so many wonderful and inspiring challenges going on at the Scrapbook Centrale site! It's great to know that there are so many things waiting for me when I have spare time. I also signed myself up for the birthday tag list this year, which should be really fun.

I'd been thinking about Ali Edward's word of the year challenge. For the longest time I couldn't figure out what I should select, but finally a word came to me that felt appropriate:

sted-ˌfast also -fəst\
Middle English stedefast, from Old English stedefæst, from stede + fæst fixed, fast
before 12th century
2: firm in belief, determination, or adherence : loyal

I just feel that in light of recent events, this word just describes it all. It's not only about belief in my dad's recovery, but belief in me to be able to accomplish it all despite the challenges. To adhere to my goals, to go about my day with a sense of purpose and knowing. To live knowing that I am strong, unwavering, and loyal to my family, my love, my future profession, and my hobbies and passions.

On another note, I'll admit that my workouts have been quite slack lately, but I just don't have the energy to put into them these days, and my body is telling me to take it easy. I get my cardio from walking up the Education hill 4 times per week. I have been doing weights here and there, and abs and a bit of yoga, but in smaller increments. I'm feeling okay with that. I'm not going to go overboard, as I feel there are more important things right now. Of course I know that my physical fitness is a key part of my life, but right now I'm not obsessed with exercise as I have been in the past.

Alright, well, my morning's almost gone, but I think this post was quite necessary and therapeutic for me, as I haven't written anything of this nature for some time now. I realize that I need to write more for myself, and not just journaling for my scrapbooking pages. Patrick, thanks for always knowing this and believing I would get to it in due time (love you).

I will leave you with this quote. This quote I have loved for years now; I first read it in a tiny book of quotes that a friend had given to my mother after my aunt passed away. I remember reading it and thinking, how true. It just touched me, and made sense. But of course, life goes on and we tend to forget, and this quote had long since retreated to the back of my mind. But today, when I reread it, I remembered its utmost importance.

"Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are. Let me learn from you, love you, bless you before you depart. Let me not pass you by in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow. Let me hold you while I may, for it may not always be so. One day I shall dig my nails into the earth, or bury my face in the pillow, or stretch myself taut, or raise my hands to the sky and want, more than all the world, your return." Mary Jean Iron