Happy New Year!

Happy New Year from the Random Reporter! I’m starting the new year with a new look here on the blog. I love the spacious feel of this new design.

I also updated some of my Being OK with Me series to reflect that it will be on-going this year. I will finish what I started, but it would be more fitting if it was kind of random, don’t you think?

I also have a word for the year, and I’ll share that sometime, too. Although, I might have to whisper it, and not in the same way I whispered Dance.

I’m still writing over at The Journey, so join me there if you are looking to make some small changes to your health this year.

 

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31 Days of Eating Paleo

I’ve been writing elsewhere this month, and I wanted to pass along an update about that. I finished my Eating Paleo for 31 Days yesterday, and I’ve written about it over at The Journey. You can read the series here.

finished-the-Whole30-FB-Cover-Photo

I promise to eventually finish the 31 Days of Being OK with Me series here, but I can’t promise when it will happen.

Thanks for reading here in my randomness! 🙂

What I Learned in September

I am writing what I learned this month and linking up with Emily P. Freeman over at Chatting at the Sky. Emily is one of my favorite writers, and this little link-up is perfect for my random brain.

1. I like to stare out the window of my back door. I’ve known this for a while. (I’ve often wondered if anyone ever sees this. And if they do, if they think I looked trapped or something.) I learned that staring out my window can be educational. You might see a weird blob on your deck chair and go out to investigate. You might realize the weird blob is actually a teeny, tiny frog. At the request of your 9-year-old son, you might post a picture of that frog on Facebook and find out it is a gray tree frog. And they make good pets. And you will be happy that the neighbor girl scared the frog away before you learned all those facts.

002_12. While Googling “gray tree frog,” I learned that there are frog forums on the internet. And you can listen to frog sounds whenever you want. You’re welcome.

3. I learned how to measure light levels at a major football stadium while traveling with my husband on his work trip.

4. I learned that using your husband’s work trip as an excuse to escape to the beach is a very, very good idea. We spent a whole day just hanging at the beach. We sat. We read. We napped. We walked. We talked. It was glorious! Rest is good. I repeat, rest is good.

beach

I know I learned more, but I can’t think of much. There are just too many random things to keep track of them. I’ll do better next month. 🙂

Three Smiling Kids

I saw a new blog link up, and thought it would be fun to try. You know my history of linking up places … I am the Random Reporter, you know. 🙂 This link up is called “Behind the Scenes.” We all like to post the nice, cute, happy things online, but maybe there is sometimes a bigger story than the nice, cute and happy. Here’s my story:

____________________________

The picture received a “Cuteness x3!” comment from Grandma, but the truth is the picture almost didn’t happen.

Monroe ParkThree smiling kids having a blast on an old-school merry-go-round — how could you NOT like this picture?

We drove to Des Moines Monday to have lunch with Grandma and Grandpa B., who were in town for an appointment. I wanted to make the most of the hour drive, but we didn’t need to shop, and we didn’t have a ton of time to go anywhere like the zoo or science center. So, my idea was to “park hop” on the way home. We would stop in the towns between Des Moines and home and see if we could find a fun playground in each one. The kids liked the idea, and agreed to four parks for 15 minutes each.

Park #1 was fun for a while, but then someone started crying. Park #2 was a similar story. Lots of bossy talk, stomping around mad and crying. I was done. “That’s it,” I said. “Let’s just go home. I have a lawn to mow and you have a room to clean.”

Thankfully, Angry Mom gave in to the pleas for one more chance, and Park #3 was perfect. Everyone had fun! No one was bossing anyone else around! No one was crying!

We stopped in Town #4, but it was too small for a park, other than the school playground. School appeared to be in session, so we kept driving. Someone had to use the potty, and everyone agreed we could just go home.

So, there you have it, the story behind the picture of three happy kids.

 

 

Dear Me

Last year, I read Emily Freeman’s Grace for the Good Girl and found it to be written just for me. She has a new book out called Graceful, and it’s the same message as her previous book directed at teenage girls. I’m pretty sure I could have used that book as a teen! In honor of the new book, Emily invited people to write a letter to their teenage self and link it up to her blog. It was a fun little assignment, you might want to do it yourself. Mine is below.

Dear 17-year-old me,

I’ve lived twice as long as you now, can you believe it? You played house for so many years and dreamed of being a grown up, and now you are one. It’s been a good life, and I’ve learned a few things that you might find helpful. So, as you venture into your senior year of high school, here are some things you should know:

Stop being so scared to try new foods. Specifically, can you figure out how to like lettuce and other green leafy things? It might be OK as a teenager to eat only two croutons and the cherry tomato half on every salad automatically given to you at a banquet or reception, but ordering everything sans lettuce as a 35-year-old is a little embarrassing. Yes, your husband (Really! You DO get one! More on him later.) also dislikes lettuce, making you true soul mates, but you are both trying to eat healthier these days, and tolerating lettuce would really be a bonus in that department.

You were never really good at getting your hair “big” like the other girls. It’s a fad that’s already going out of style, but don’t fret. It just means many less embarrassing photos later in life. You’re really not much into fads anyway. I mean, you rolled your jeans and wore multiple pairs of brightly colored socks with your white canvas shoes, but you were never the trend setter. Trendy isn’t your thing, and that’s OK, too. Everyone has their own style, even if it’s not evident in high school.

That’s me, second from the left.

For someone who isn’t very good with numbers, you are pretty set on one number: your GPA. Can I tell you a little secret? When you are 35 you will not remember what your GPA was. Gasp! I know. I know. It’s a statistic that gives you worth, proves you are good. You enjoy school and you love to learn, those are wonderful things. But stop letting perfect grades stress you out! That B in choir your freshman year was a gift, I tell you, a gift! Can you imagine your stress level if you had the chance for that perfect 4.0? You are so much more than a number. Just last week your oldest child brought home his/her first school paper with a grade on top. (Sorry for the gender confusion, but you and the hubs are a rare breed who don’t find out the gender of your children before they are born. I don’t want to spoil the surprise!) The child is in third grade, the first year with real letter grades. And that first school paper with a grade on top did a number on your heart. The grade was a good one, there was no disappointment. In fact, this child does very well in school, just like you did. But the truth is, you see beyond the grade, the numbers, the statistics. You see your precious child whom you value for so much more than his/her ability to get good grades. Keep doing well in school and enjoy learning, but stop letting your GPA determine your self worth.

You girls know how to party with your sparkling grape juice and big, baggy shirts!

You also need to know that having a boyfriend does not give you value either. I’m pretty sure you know this one, but it’s still hard to feel like the only one who never had a boyfriend. You aren’t the only one. You have an amazing group of girlfriends (Hey, we’re still friends, can you believe it?) and those friendships are a huge blessing! Enjoy the time you spend together. You have had many experiences in high school, and will have more opportunities in college, that you might have missed out on if there was a guy to distract you. Instead, you have missed out on heartache and who knows what kind of trouble. You will spend most of your college years without a boyfriend either. So, just learn to enjoy meeting new people and stop wondering if every event you attend might be the event where you meet “the one.” All that brain power could be used for more noble causes. Towards the end of your senior year of college you will see a cute guy at your church. And then you will see him several places around campus, wondering why you never saw him before. You will not get the opportunity to meet him at church, and you will sing like Alanis Morrisette that it’s ironic, but do not despair! You know that job giving tours of the dorms to new students where you’ll only make $50?  Totally worth it! You’ll get to work with — yep, you guessed it — cute church boy! And it turns out to be the perfect opportunity for two kinda quiet people to meet and fall in love. So worth the wait!

This letter is getting long, but there is one more thing that you must know: It is OK to make mistakes. You are so desperate to do what’s right and what pleases God. This is a good thing, yet you take it to an extreme. You are constantly wondering if you are doing things good enough, if what you are doing is really God’s will, if there is something you are missing that would make your life more aligned with God. (And you’re developing a rather prideful and judgmental heart, which is definitely not God’s will for your life.) That voice telling you you are not good enough is not God’s voice. I wish I could say that at 35 you’ve stopped listening to that voice, but much like your lettuce preferences, some battles take longer to win. The good news is you start to listen more to the voice of God’s grace. It’s been there all along, you just tune it out in favor of items to put on your “I’m good enough check list.” So, throw that list away, even though it’s not on paper and only in your imagination. Cause that’s just it, it’s an imaginary list. Much like you see your children for being worth more than their grades, God sees you for more than what you do. He appreciates your heart so desperate to follow Him, but He really just wants you to get to know Him and to enjoy His presence in your life. If you start there, the “doing what’s right” will naturally follow.

There is so much more I could tell you — and I know you think you want to know every detail — but the stuff I already told you is a good start. Enjoy the journey!

Love,

Me 🙂

P.S. As a 35-year-old, you’ll wish 70-year-old you would send along a letter. But, then you’ll realize she already has in the form of the women in their 70s, 60s, 50s, 40s and even 30s that say, “Enjoy your kids! They grow up so fast …”

Where’s my robot?

I was flipping channels on the television the other day when I came across the old show The Jetsons. I loved that show as a kid!

Meet George Jetson. Jane his wife … [Insert futuristic sounding music.] …  Sing it with me!

The Jetson family lived in space, flew around in little space mobiles and had robots that did all of their housework for them.

I’m wondering what happened to those robots? Where is mine? When I was a kid, it seemed like the future was all about technology that created robots to do our work for us.

Instead we got this:

Technology that distracts us from doing our housework.

Go figure.

And that, my friends, is why this blog has random in the name.

Carry on.

____________

Image Source.

 

Identity Crisis Encore

Summer is for moving and not sitting around writing blog posts. At least that’s what I am telling myself for not having written here in a while. 🙂 My husband is out of town, so it’s a good time for me to go crazy. He’s actually on his way home from the airport, so my time is limited!

Anyway, I had a comment on this blog recently from someone I don’t know. That was both exciting and terrifying at the same time. In an effort to be safe online, I’m making another change to this blog. Yes, I know. I’m thinking this will be the last time. No guarantees, though! 🙂

I’m removing my name from the address. Everything I could think of regarding “it’s the little things” is already taken. My new name will be: www.randomreporter.wordpress.com.

The name is fitting, I think. I am somewhat random and I used to be a reporter, sort of. I’m random at posting anything here, so I’ll randomly be reporting about the little things in my life that I want to share.

This site will self-destruct in 30 seconds. 29 … 28 … 27 …