Brain Dump Friday

There have been a few times in my life when someone has lied to me, and I have wished so hard that their pants would catch on fire. Why doesn’t that happen in real life? I just found out that you really can send too long of a text to someone. Good to know. People should remember that their car windows are made of see-through glass. Bathrooms are scary in the dark. The longer it takes for someone to find you and turn the lights back on, the worse it gets. My mind went wild. I’ve not really been that scared in a long time. Probably not since I was mugged. I love when people say my kids are responsible or kind or helpful…it makes me smile. :) <—Just like that. My mind is going a million miles per hour, and I feel like I have nothing to say. It just occurred to me that September 11th will be a Tuesday this year. hmmm. I’ve lived in Iowa almost as long as I lived in Arizona. I was born in Arizona and raised there until I was a month away from being 15. In November we will have lived in Iowa for 15 years. I wonder if I will ever live anywhere else… I need to start another notebook so I can start to make lists again. I miss my lists. The calendar thing is going well. (since I’ve mentioned it the last two weeks, I thought you’d like to know.) Unfortunately my pretty calendar that I had custom-made for me isn’t going to make the cut. Boo-hoo! :( That is all. #BrainDumpFriday

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Brain Dump Friday

I hope I’m never famous for being dorky. I mean, I am dorky, I just hope I’m never famous for it. It would be awesome to be famous…for about a week. Then I think I’d be done with it completely. Part of the reason I started my own business with The Pampered Chef is because they appreciate the polka dot. It is a thing, and if you’re not on the bandwagon, you’re out of luck. (OK, I didn’t really sign up because of that, but they do have several things that are polka dot, and I love them all. In fact, there is FREE thing on it way to me right now…and it’s polka dot! I love that I have to do so little to be recognized and appreciated!) Last night Jessup and I were sitting in the car for a few moments after I pulled into the garage, and suddenly someone came up behind the car, slammed into it, and yelled, “BLLLLAAAAAAAHHHHHH!” I jumped and screamed, and Jessup did something that shocked me. He threw open the door, leaped from the passenger seat, and threw his cup of Pepsi (which I consumed most of while he was watching a movie at the high school) directly at the perpetrator Barry. Jessup hit him right in the face and the lid to the cup blew off and ice and Pepsi covered him. Then I started to cry, and I was shaking so bad. I did not appreciate being scared. It seems as though I take the brunt of the scaring. I scare Barry (only once when we were dating), and his Navy and self-defense training kick in, and before I know it I’m flat on the floor. He scares me, I almost pee my pants and then cry. I don’t think I can win this one. Barry’s punishment was not only to be sticky, but to carry in my gigantic bag of products and supplies, and then help me wash them. I couldn’t believe Jessup’s bravery and accuracy in the face of what could’ve been actual danger! I’m really overwhelmed. He jumped up and tried to save me. Look out attackers! (I think he thinks I’m going to keep giving him icy sodas…just in case he has to defend himself. Or me. That’s not going to happen. We are a nearly soda-free family.) FYI: if you get mugged, you’ll want Jessup and a soda nearby. If you have me, you better hope for an OCD, germ-a-phobe, who can’t stand pee…or a crying girl. I miss my first job. Just one part of it, really. This guy and I paired up early on to “perform” for the kids who would come in really early. (I worked at Discovery Zone) His name was Ali, which the kids loved because of Aladdin. Anyway, we would put a soundtrack into the system first thing in the morning and do a “show” near (sometimes in) the ball pits. Aladdin, The Little Mermaid, Rescuers Down Under, Beauty and the Beast. We would sing and dance along with the music. There weren’t very many kids in the place yet, and it was still pretty quiet. We’d recite the words and sing the lyrics word for word, and we just had the best time. One day I sang all the boy parts and he sang all the girl parts. It was a fun job. I don’t think I’d like it now, but I remember loving it back then. I’ve only been hired “on the spot” for two jobs, and that was the first. Both of those jobs were awesome and fun experiences. Both jobs taught me a lot. Neither job gave me polka dot things for free. :( I just realized that I was sort-of famous for my “shows” at DZ…and those were dorky. It doesn’t count though. Pre-school famous, isn’t really famous. Unless you’re Thomas, the Teletubbies, or Barney. And all of those are too dorky for me. That is all. #BrainDumpFriday

Brain Dump Friday

I’m starting to like colorful things. Normally I go for dark colors, browns, grays, and black. I have a cup full of highlighters and Sharpies (fine tip, because the wider ones are too hard for me to manage without making a mess…because while I’m an adult, I usually have the hands of a 3-year old), and it makes me smile just to see all the pretty colors. I got a little eager when planning my availability for shows in September, and forgot about a 3-day conference, and youth group. oops. I’m tired of being under a boil order. A water main broke here in town on Wednesday morning, and we’ve been restricted ever since. I’m very tempted to drive 15 miles just to get some stupid ice. There is no ice. It’s like we suddenly live in a third-world town. If I can’t handle a few days without ice, I’ll never survive the apocalypse. You’ll have to put me out of my misery right away. It’s ok. Don’t feel guilty. You’ll want to kill me off about three hours in anyway, because I’ll be complaining a lot when there’s no ice/internet/cell phones/electricity. My husband just sent a sweet text and made my day :). I like it when he does that. I need a new game for my iPhone. Something challenging, slightly (not totally) addictive (I do have a life-sort of), and fun. I play “Flow” and I have all the updates and additions, and I’m almost done with it. Once I master all the boards, I’ll be bored with it. I’m having a calendar dilemma…not the one mentioned above, but I like monthly calendars, and I need to learn to live from a weekly calendar. I don’t want to. I want to cross my arms and stomp my feet, but no one is around to see/hear me, and the cats don’t care one way or the other as long as we feed them. I’m the only human in my house all day now. I wonder if anyone else stays home anymore? I feel like I’m the only one. My kitchen is super clean. (That’s how bored/lonely/pitiful I am) I think I will go make a snack for tonight’s Bible study. I need to blog more. I have lots to say. I miss my kids. It’s only the second day of the school year. I threaten them every summer that I will pull them out of school and homeschool them, just so I can spend more time with them. I enjoyed homeschooling for the years that we did it. Now the only result would be that they would learn, sooner rather than later, that they are both smarter than their mother. I cannot lose that advantage. It’s going to be a long year. Oh My Gosh!!! I forgot to add the school events to my calendar! I’m going to need a new one…this one is about to become too messy! I can’t look at a messy calendar…I get all kerfuzzled.  That is all.

Brain Dump Friday (Saturday Edition)

Well, I was so busy yesterday that I literally didn’t have time to do this. I don’t write these early, so if I can’t write it on Friday, I will on Saturday. I thought of it many times, but couldn’t do it until today.

I’m still so excited about the get-together last night. We had such an amazing time laughing and catching up. My nieces are from Iowa, but one has married a man from Tennessee (they have both been in the military-he still is-and they move quite a bit. They are currently in Texas.), and one married a British man (They met in Japan, got married in the UK, and moved from South Africa to Brussels a while back). They have chosen well…so did their husbands. :) I hardly had time to catch up with the family that lives in Iowa, so we will have to get together again, just to visit with them. Isn’t that the best, though? Being so surrounded by family and love, that you can’t give everyone the time you would like? Coming from such a small family, I love it! I love the craziness and the loud little ones running all around. My In-laws are SO blessed to have “greats”! I believe they have seven great-grandchildren now. Talk about a full quiver! The eldest grandchild is just a few days older than I, and their youngest grandchild (18 total) is Ainsley. All that time we were there last night, and not ONE picture. That’s aggravating me. I had big hopes, but I put my phone away when I got there, and tried to leave it alone as much as possible. Those of you who know me, know how often I have my phone in my hands. My phone is also my camera. SIGH. The Iowa State Fair is here and I don’t care one bit. I may be the only human who doesn’t love it, but that doesn’t make me want to go even a little bit. I’ve only been once, and I wasn’t that impressed. The Del Mar Fair is still my favorite fair in the whole world…except now it’s called the San Diego County Fair. I refuse to accept that. It will always be the Del Mar Fair to me. If something is perforated, I MUST TEAR IT OFF. I just found myself opening up the unopened packages of Post-It Notes needlessly. There’s a perforation at the top, and I had to open it. Now I have lots of unnecessarily opened Post-It Notes. BTW…the perforation didn’t work very well, and the top of the packaging didn’t tear in a straight line. 3M should work on that. I like straight lines. I get to go to the World Food Festival in Des Moines in September. I’m so excited to go! I’ve always wanted to. I’ll be working, but I will still get to be there. I got my first paycheck! I’ve spent money on my business, but now I’ve earned money as well! YAY me! I’ve lost a total of 10.5 pounds since Barry started working out. Imagine what I could do if I did! Just kidding…I have been, but not like he has. He’s been amazing, and I’m really proud of him. He “graduates” in a week, and he’s signing up again…he loves it. I love him. I hope he’s around for a really long time. The women in my family tend to out-live their husbands by a considerable number of years. My mom’s mom lived for 24 more years, my dad’s mom for 19 years, my mom for 18 years, my aunt for 16 years and counting… I’d like very much to break that trend. I was thinking the other day about hearts, and how a person’s capacity for love is incredible. How you can love your parents, your spouse, your kids and other people all at the same time…it’s amazing. (not your actual heart…those are pretty amazing by themselves, but you know what I mean)  In closing today, family is great. Big families are greater still, and I’m happy to be a part of one. Manly is a silly name for a town. Someone should open up a B&B or a tea room there. Take lots of pictures…even if it means keeping your phone with you all the time, just don’t mess around on Facebook when family is nearby. Straight lines are good. Bad perforations are bad. There are still some caramels on my desk if anyone wants them. They are good until May 2013. Ew. Scary. That is all. #BrainDumpFriday

I Hate Spaghetti: My Pampered Chef “Testimony”

I had this idea to write up what I would like to say at shows when I’m talking about my business, why I love Pampered Chef, and why I am so proud to wear the apron. I wrote something that was OK, but I couldn’t quite get it right. Then I realized that I don’t need to find the words, I already have them. They may not be as eloquent as something I could write, but they are mine. (And there’s no memorization involved)

I’ve been married for 17 years. Over that time I have cooked…a lot. At first, it was fun. You know, it was kind-of like playing house. Sort of this dreamy world where the apartment was clean, and the kid was clean, and (hopefully) I was clean, and dinner was on the table.

Over the years, we had two kids (making a total of four), and at times we’ve had up to five jobs between us. Oh, and we’ve moved. A LOT. We currently live in our 15th house. We bought this one, so we are here to stay!

I stayed home with our kids before they went to school, and I found myself bored in the kitchen. Making macaroni and cheese, PB&J, spaghetti, and munching on graham crackers and cheerios gets old…awfully fast. I was to the point that I would have eaten my own shoes before I ate another bowl of spaghetti.

Then a friend invited me to a Pampered Chef show. I fought it at first, saying that I hated to cook, and I wasn’t interested, but I finally agreed when she said I could eat something other than spaghetti. I found a sitter, grudgingly left a number where I could be reached if someone were bleeding or on fire, and I ran out of the house.

I had SO much fun!

I ordered a few things, including the cookbook containing the recipe from that night, and was on pins and needles waiting for my new tools to arrive. (BTW…I still have that cookbook, and the Fiesta Nachos are still my favorite recipe. If you’d like a copy of it, please write your email address on the paper I handed out, and I will email it to you.) I made everything in that cookbook. TWICE. Even the recipes with the mushrooms in them. (make face)

I had so much fun at that party, that I agreed to host my own. It was great! I earned a few free items, and got a discount on a few more.

Eventually we (I) fell into the same rut. We were back to the same old thing. I would pull my PC cookbook out once in a while, but most days we were back to the standard fare. I was to the point where, once again, I hated to cook.

Fast Forward SEVEN YEARS. The kids are now 12 and 9, and their tastes have expanded greatly. My daughter was no longer a self-proclaimed vegetarian as she’d been from birth (even before that, if you want to know the truth), and while our menu was increasing, I was still finding myself miserable in the kitchen.

A friend of mine invited me to a Pampered Chef show. After the show was over, she confessed to me that I was the last person she thought would EVER come to the show. She confessed that she had only one invitation left, and she didn’t want to throw it away, so she gave it to me. You know that thing that Hollywood does in movies where the happy memories are kind-of glossy, and very colorful, and everyone is smiling too much while harps play in the background? Well, THAT was my Pampered Chef memory from all those years before. I was the first one to show up that night.

Fast Forward another FOUR YEARS. We are back in the rut. Once again, the kid’s tastes continue to change and grow, and in turn the menu has grown, but I’m still bored. So bored, in fact, that I almost NEVER cook. My husband does probably 90% of the cooking, my son does about 5%, and I…well, I know all the take-out numbers by heart. They’re even in my list of favorite contacts in my phone :(. They are listed above family. Needless to say, it’s bad.

Then one day my friend Michelle contacts me. She’s a Pampered Chef. She’s happy. She likes to cook. I think something is wrong with her.

Cue glossy memories and harps.

I agree to host a show. After the show (where I got MORE free stuff, and these AMAZING knives at HALF off!), she sent me an invitation to go to a meeting where I could learn more about starting my own business. I am now convinced she’s out of her mind, but I go. I couldn’t believe she saw something in me. Even more, I couldn’t imagine what it was. At the meeting I was overcome. Not “saxophone and frantic weeping” overcome, just that “I can’t remember parts of that night because I was so deep in thought” overcome. That might seem like a strong word, but I was. Really.

EPIPHANY!

I don’t hate cooking. I hate the same thing. I hate the mundane routine. And…I still REALLY hate spaghetti.

I was bored. I’d given up on the things that made cooking enjoyable for me. I stopped using my helpful tools. I was back to chopping and cutting and mixing the hard way.

For me, when I stopped using the tools that made it easy to cook, the tools that made making meals fun again, my Pampered Chef tools, I stopped loving it.

Cutting an onion with a dull knife on a cutting board that slides around half-hazardly on a counter top is hard. Not only do you cry because of the onion, but you also cry when the board slips and you cut off your thumb. ER bills will make you cry. That’s THREE times. Nobody wants to cry three times.

All this pain and aggravation is spared when you have something as simple as a Food Chopper. You cut the onion in half, slap it into the Food Chopper, and before you know it…chop-chop-chop…you’re done. Your onion is chopped, and you have your thumbs.

It sounds silly, but you know what I mean.

Pampered Chef makes it easier, faster, and more fun to cook. We make it easy to teach your kids how to cook. We make clean up a breeze so you can get out of the kitchen and back in the family room where you really want to be. We make the “living” part of life a little more livable.

You may love to cook. You may not. Maybe you’ve never boiled water. Maybe you started to boil water once, and when you got back to the pan, all the water magically went away. It doesn’t matter how far along you are in the culinary world. EVERYONE can be a Pampered Chef. Trust me, YOU CAN DO THIS. We can do it together. Give me a half hour of your time, meet me in a coffee shop, and then you decide. The coffee’s on me.

Oh…and I still hate spaghetti.

Brain Dump Friday – “Bullets Are Fun” Edition

This week my brain is filled with lots of things. Not sure where we will go. Bullets make things seem more important, and since this is utter nonsense, it should seem more important.

  • I love my new calendar. It is from erincondren.com and I love it. It’s a little pricey (although not as much as a Franklin planner would be), but they are totally customizable. I may write a blog soon about it with pics and everything. Because I love it. Did I say that?
  • I feel like I’m all outdoorsy when I sip my ice water out of Bass Pro Shops 32 oz. cup. I mean chug (that’s way more outdoorsy than sipping).
  • I need to organize my nail polishes. There are a lot of them just sitting on my desk, and the bathroom cabinet is as full as it can should be (with bathroom-y stuff, not just nail polish). Maybe a shoe holder…the ones with the clear pouches.
  • How is my phone already down to 43%? Something is sucking the life out of it today.
  • Why is boobs such a naughty word? Everyone either has them or likes them. (I’m probably going to get in trouble for saying “boobs”, but it’s my blog)
  • I have a serious Mentos addiction. Someone should help me. (not help me eat them, I’ve got that)
  • Pickles are yucky.
  • I miss Excedrin.
  • I was so stressed out yesterday about being a consultant and a host (two hats are hard when you have just the one head-even though I have a big giant head), until I heard that a dear friend of ours was in the ER and it was serious. I prayed for him and his lovely wife, and you know what? I felt better. So I kept praying. And I felt even better. Which was weird, because the prayer wasn’t about or for me, but I felt better. I was so much calmer all night. Everyone should pray.
  • People who saw my mixer last night at the open house loved it. You know what that tells me? That I shouldn’t let one or two Judge-y Judy’s make me feel bad. It makes people smile, and while that may not be “God’s work” directly, it is indirectly…and that’s nice. Being nice is nice.
  • I have lots of lofty work goals… Here’s to achieving them, and going beyond what anyone thinks I am capable of. *clink*

If you’ll excuse me, I need to go hang out with my kids on this self-imposed (almost) day off. That is all. #BrainDumpFriday