Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Questions: Who do you plan on buying gifts for and what will they be?

Aw, come on! What if I want to surprise people?

I have 2 projects I'm making. But you'll have to wait and see until AFTER Christmas...

but... fyi... some of what I'm working on, I've already talked about somewhere else...........

Questions: What Gift Do You Really Want This Christmas?

How many people guessed I'd say a ring? Come on, show of hands...

Well, honestly, I feel so blessed already, that although it's pretty obvious I'm lookin' for a ring, I am okay with what I already have. Now don't get me wrong, I'm looking forward to said ring, but I am okay with my relationship the way it is, so I don't need to pressure more than I already have (which is a LOT, believe me).

I feel like I should share more. But the truth is, I'm super impressed, and some things are just too good to blog about...

Questions: 5 Things You Dislike About Christmas.

  1. Lines. Suddenly shopping takes twice as long. And I swear people materialize out of no where. And sometimes all I need is a stick of butter or dryer sheets or something. And I still. have. to. wait.
  2. The rush. Everyone's in such a hurry. And so am I.
  3. Rain, slush, ice, and snow where I walk and drive. 'Nuff said.
  4. The fact that I always make a mess with projects and I love Christmas projects.
  5. THE COMMERCIALISM! I hate watching commercials during Christmas time, because its seriously a contest to see who  can pay more with them. Buy me, buy me, and don't just buy one of me, buy 20, and give me to your friends, too! And don't worry about the cost, we'll give you a credit card and charge you 3 times as much!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Questions: 5 Things You Love About Christmas.

  1. I love how people are more giving. And more accepting of help, too.
  2. I love that you can do something just because you want to and not because you want any glory from it, and then you can blame it on Santa. And that it's perfectly okay to remain anonymous for it.
  3. I love the twinkle in my little girl's eye. And how to her, this time of year spells endless opportunities and magic. In her eyes, anything is possible at Christmas time. And I love how it wears off on me. Everything becomes a little brighter, a little more mystical, and a little more possible this time of year.
  4. I love the GOODIES! Chocolate mice, and gingerbread men (I admit those are more fun to make than to eat) and fudges and candies and cookies galore, and spice cakes. Mmmmmm...
  5. I love the excuse to make things. So often I come up with some excuse to let my crafting wait for another day. But at Christmas time, I get to dust off the old ingenuity and enjoy. Especially these past 2 Christmases. My mother made a challenge for all of us last year that everyone should try to make their gifts homemade instead of store bought, and WOW, what a way to celebrate Christmas. It puts the meaning back in the gifts. Each and every gift MEANT something last year. Be it the cookbooks I typed up or the quilt my sister made. Everything was personal, again. And ever since, I've decided to keep it that way. At least for as long as I have the sanity to do so...

When I Grow Up...

I interrupt my regular posting to tell you about a woman who inspires me. She is everything I hope to be, and I've been thinking about her all week! Mostly because I've seen her everywhere all week. This woman inspires me, and I hope to be more like her some day. Let me explain...

This woman runs in races. She has organized so many community events. She is raising the most polite and entertaining children I've met. She inspires the youth with her testimony. She not only serves on the school PTO board, but also the Friends of the Library committee meetings, and she used to do all of this while also being the President of her ward Young Woman program. And her kids are priceless! Everyone knows them, because everyone is so in love with them. Especially the middle child, who just brightens up a room. She's 4, I think, and very NOT shy. This little girl has such a great countenance, the type that can bring Scrooge and Oscar the Grouch to belly laughs. And Her older and younger children are the same way.

This woman teaches me how to save. Her family will be going to Disneyland this summer. Any guesses on how the trip was funded? They walked throughout their neighborhood many MANY MANY times and found old cans. Their trip to Disneyland is a result of LOTS of work saving up cans to fund the way. I mean think of how many cans that is!

And I've heard from SO MANY young women that she is an example to them. I don't blame them. She's an example to ME!

When I grow up, I want to be a lot like her. I want people to know what I stand for, I want to do things that are hard, I want to make a difference in my community, in my church, and to my children. She inspires me to be better.

Why My Mother Doesn't Let Me Take Pictures...

It's an inside joke at my house that cameras hate me. And I believe it. I'm wondering if I had a better camera if it would fix the problem (mine's really not that good, but it was given to me and I'm glad I have it because I was having to use my cell phone), but I am starting to wonder if it really IS all me. I know part of the problem is that I jerk every time I take pictures (I need to build up the muscles in my arms, I think...), but other than that, I have no idea.

So, you think I'm over-exaggerating? Let me show you...

Attempt #1
Overexposure. I assumed this meant there's too much flash. A COMMON problem with my camera.

Attempt # 2

So I turned the flash off. That should solve the problem, right? But whenever I turn the flash off, my camera wont focus! Gah! I try it anyway.

Attempt #3

And then I think, well, maybe if I just hold really still.... And it's still blurry.

Attempt #4

So I turn the flash back on, and once again, it's over-exposed.

Attempt #5 

So I resort to holding still again. And it's at least KINDA in focus... sorta.

Attempt #6

So I try to come up with a solution, like maybe if I put my finger over the flash it'll diffuse it a little. This is funny. You know how when you hold your hand up to a flashlight, it's red? Same effect. 

Attempt #7

With flash again, but this time I taped a piece of paper over the flash. I must admit this is the best by far. But there's gotta be SOME sort of solution...

Attempt #8

I'm about to give up. Maybe just one more...

Attempt # 9

Attempt # Am I done yet?

well, this isnt my favorite picture, It's not very well presented. My mice are MUCH cuter. There's gotta  be a way to capture it's cuteness. Bakerella does it, I should be able to. Maybe if I get a front view...

Attempt # I've lost count...

And again with the out of focus thing!

Attempt # Frustrated beyond reason

Fine. I'll take it. 

Questions: What is Your Favorite Christmas Treat?

Okay, are you ready for blogging overload? Sorry to all the people I'm going to annoy today by playing major blog catchup, but I FINALLY have treats! :c)

These guys are my favorite Christmas treat. Christmas mice. I've been so hectic, I wanted to make this a tutorial, but today I just dont feel like doing it. Mostly because I've got so much catch up to do. These mice are made from kisses, almonds, and cherries dipped in chocolate. Then I added eyes and noses with melted dipping chocolate. It's a family tradition, and I love that everyone loves them too much to eat. Plus, they're super yummy. 

I tried using the candycane kisses this year, and still think I like the classics best. 

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Questions: Where will you be spending Christmas Day?

Below the mistletoe!

What, do you think I'd actually give out information like that? To all my raving fans? hehe, just kidding. 

But I might just have plans for that mistletoe this year... 

Questions: What Does Your Tree Look Like?

Like this:

Flash on                                                                                                  
Flash off

Yeah, about that one row of missing lights. Ranger says he'll help. I bet it'll get put back in the box without that row fixed. What do you think?

Every other year, I have come up with a theme for my tree (yeah, I have THAT many ornaments), but this year I just picked out my favorites. 

In the past it's been red and gold, red and silver, blue and frosted/silver, red and green, and last year it was pink, red, green, and blue (thanks to some ornaments my dad gave me. All glittery and "mod").  

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Questions: What is your favorite Christmas song?

How on earth can I pick just one song? There are so many good Christmas songs and so many moods. But I was able to narrow it down to these three. And I refuse to narrow it down any more than that...

1. Secret of Christmas

Disregard the pictures. Listen to the song. The video streaming through MY head for this song is a bunch of elementary school kids surrounding me while we all sing this song for our parents. But OBVIOUSLY I'm not going to find any footage I can put on the blog for THAT, and nothing else is going to compare.

I sang this song every year in elementary school. It was a tradition. And I think that has a lot to do with why it is one of the top 3. Problem is, it's virtually unknown, so there's not many ways to share it with others.
Look at the happy people.
Christmas is in the air.
I know the secret of Christmas,
A secret I'm willing to share.

It's not the glow you feel, when snow appears.
It's not the Christmas card, you've sent for years.
Not the joyful sound, when sleigh bells ring.
Or the merry songs, children sing.

The little gift you send, on Christmas day
Will not bring back the friend, you turned away.
So may I suggest, the secret of Christmas:
It's not the things you do at Christmas time,
But the Christmas things you do all year through.
 2. Breath of Heaven (Mary's Song).

 How could you NOT love Breath of Heaven? I think it is one of EVERYONE's favorites. At least at one time or another. It has a way of putting into words what you cant seem to express otherwise, and really makes you think of all Mary had to go through.

I have traveled many moonless night.
Cold and weary, with a babe inside.
And I wonder what I've done.
Holy Father, You have come
And chosen me now
To carry Your Son.

I am waiting in a silent prayer.
I am frightened by the load I bear.
In a world as cold as stone,
Must I walk this path alone?
Be with me now
Be with me now

Breath of heaven
Hold me together.
Be forever near me.
Breath of heaven
Breath of heaven
Light up my darkness,
Pour over me your holiness,
For You are holy.

Breath of heaven

Do you wonder, as You watch my face,
If a wiser one one should have had my place?
But I offer all I am
For the mercy of Your plan.
Help me be strong
Help me be
Help me

3. Carol of the Bells.

I've always been in awe of the Carol of the Bells. There's something oddly mesmerizing by all the different parts and vocal ranges in this song. I love how the song is not complete without all the individual pieces.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Questions: What is your favorite Christmas movie?

Up until last year, the cartoon version of How the Grinch Stole Christmas would have won by a landslide. I preformed the play in high school, and LOVED it. I loved the message, too. Christmas doesnt come from a store. Christmas means just a little bit more.

But that was up until last year. Then I watched the Forgotten Carols. And it seriously changed everything. 

I dont know if I can explain it. It just came at the right time for me. First of all, I realized something profound. It had been a LONG time since I'd looked anyone in the eyes. A long time. And I realized that fact as I watched this movie. Why? because I looked at the characters' eyes. And was shocked. I realized how much you can tell about a person by looking at their eyes. You can tell what people are thinking, how they're feeling. You can tell what they're really like. And then I thought about my ex's eyes. And how cold and empty they were. There was no light in his eyes whatsoever. And I realized I didnt want that in my life. I also asked myself WHY I hadn't looked anyone in the eyes. And it helped me realize how toxic my old relationship actually was. And it changed me. I set new goals for myself, new expectations and new dreams. 

Secondly, I realized that I was done feeling lost. I felt like I was one of those people singing "I cannot find my way." So when Jeff McLean sang that we can all find our way if we look to the star, I felt like I had my answer. I knew how to find my way.

Thirdly, I was moved by the last song of the movie. "Ive been given what I need." I realized that even though things werent going the way I wanted, they were going forward. I was given the chance to count my blessings instead of focus on my problems. When I heard the song, I asked myself if it was true, had I really been given what I needed? And then I noticed how strong I'd become, more spiritual, and more focused. I realized that my needs really had been met, and that in the long run, I would be happier than if my ex had stayed. 

Questions: Which Reindeer is your favorite and why?

okay, lets see...

If I had to give personalities based on the names, this is what I'd come up with:

  • Dasher: Hasty and sporadic. He leaps before he thinks, is impulsive, and very driven. Although usually victorious,  such victory is often a near-miss, and a result of sheer determination not to give up. He often gets himself in situations he shouldn't, nearly avoiding danger. He also makes a bold leader, and is very determined. Often called a wild card. (Personalities similar to Artemis Fowl and Wolverine)
  • Dancer: A dreamer. Fluid and elegant. No sharp edges or sporadic chaos. Likes things orderly, but isn't controlled by the need for order. Often well-rounded and balanced.  She gets things done, and does them with flair, but doesn't do them for selfish reasons or because she wants attention. She does them because she enjoys doing them or because they need done. She's a firm believer in doing what's right for the right reasons. 
  • Prancer: a little egoistic (as opposed to egotistic), knows the world doesn't revolve around him, but wishes it would. Doesn't think he's better than the world, but that's because he's never stopped to pay attention. Often showy and ostentatious, in a lovable sort of way. He knows how to charm the crowd. (think Tom Cruise)
  • Vixen: Saucy and sensual. If Vixen were a color, She'd be a bold, seductive red. She's the type who was born to turn heads, in a classy sort of way. She's strong and bold, confident in who she is. She's also smart and a little manipulative. She knows how to get things done and she knows how to get others to do them for her. And think it was their idea. But she's not too overpowering to the point where people get annoyed with her, she has a way of finding her way into your heart. (Personality similar to Angelina Jolie)
  • Comet: Stalwart. Doesn't quit the task until its completed. Very methodical. Sometimes known to have a temper, but surprisingly able to keep his cool. Although he has his flaws, others often only see perfection. Often driven to do things because they're right, for the good of all. (Think I Am Legend and Froto) 
  • Cupid: Well, everything I can find for a personality fitting Cupid says a lot the same things as Vixen, but to me, that's not Cupid. I'm torn to whether Cupid is bold or subtle, awkward or completely collected. To me, cupid is like pure love. If Cupid were a color, it'd be deep pink. Soft and comfortable, but whole and complete and subtly moving. Cupid is a friend to everyone. Cupid is loyal (this one can follow the Greek version of Cupid). He's willing to do anything and overcomes great obstacles for the ones he loves. [Not sure if he's more like Hercules (ironically, another mythological tale) or Alma the Younger (that fits the rebel turned good aspect that fits the Roman tales of Cupid)].
  • Donner: often called old-fashioned, Donner believes in old-world values and respect. He is a reindeer who likes complete order and is often driven to find it. Donner is a protector, but one with power. Think mafia lord or Thor the Norse god. But in a good way. 
  • Blitzen: Quick and clever. Blitzen is smart, one you could classify as a genius. He has a short temper and sharp tongue, and is often an instigator. He's a major player in revolution, which isn't always a bad thing. He's innovative and resourceful, and doesnt back down, even when the odds are stacked against him. Think Indiana Jones meets Marty McFly. 
  • Rudolf: the underdog who let it get to his head, in my opinion. A little too famous.

I guess under these descriptions, I'm definitely leaning towards Comet being my favorite. With Dancer taking a close second.

This site also has a summary of what each character's personality would be, but I didn't follow too closely with what they said.

Questions: Do you believe in Santa Claus?

Now really, how am I supposed to answer that?

Truth is, yes. Sorta. Not in the naive "Santa is real, I know it, He's gotta be, he gave me such-n-such, mommy tell them he's real" sort of thing. But I believe that Santa's spirit and influence have changed the world. I believe he keeps the spirit of giving alive. At least the REAL Santa does. Not the commercialized version of him. I believe that he motivates people to be a little more giving, a little more jolly, and a little more hopeful. I think he helps all of us set aside ourselves. He allows us to do things in his name that we may or may not have done or been willing to do in our own names.

And besides, "he" gave me an AWESOME table last year. And it SERIOUSLY made my Christmas. I cant explain how much it meant that someone thought of me. And gave me something I could not afford. Or even afford to dream about.

This is one of my favorite ornaments from my tree. I got it as a gift in High school. 

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Questions: What's on your Christmas list?

"World Peace."
"World Peace."
"Harsher punishment for parole violators, Stan..... And.... World Peace."

Ten points if you know that movie! I don't know what you'll redeem them for, but you can have the points anyway....

But seriously. My Christmas list this year:
  1. That B will know how much I love her.
  2. That I can feel organized and in control.
  3. That I can meet my own expectations.
  4. A ring. ... I can hope, right? (Actually, I sorta want this one before Christmas... We'll see.)
  5. Organization and control. 
  6. Acceptance to go back to college (gotta finish filling out the paperwork, first).
  7. Enough. Of whatever I need. Just Enough.
  8. Clean laundry.
  9. The strength I need for whatever's in my future.
  10. Understanding. I used to be good at understanding others. I've sort of lost that. I want to get it back.
  11. A ring. 
  12. Patience to wait until HE gives me the ring, instead of Me pestering him into it (probably better get this one early, too).
  13. For my friends to know how much they mean to me.
  14. Organization and control.
  15. TIME! (can I please, please get this one for Christmas! I'd give the rest back... well maybe not the ring. But everything else).
  16. An Ensign subscription (mine expired, and I just haven't  gotten around to it). 
  17. Letters. That would be the best gift (well, besides time). Just letters of what people thought of me. Some good, esteem boosting, look-back-on -during-bad-days letters. Well, assuming people think well of me, and that they'd  be esteem-boosting. I might not want them if you secretly think I'm evil (It could happen, right? :cP). ... At any rate, at least I'd know what you thought of me. :c)
  18. Cutesy stuff for my house.
  19. A perm. I don't like my hair right now. 
  20. Knowledge. I could always use more knowledge.
Now don't think I'm soliciting anything [unless you know how to get me some more Time (not to be confused with thyme,  because I think that stuff's nasty. Don't know why. I always taste mold whenever I taste it. Musta had some  bad thyme somewhere), and then I'll gladly take that! Oh, and the ring. But no one else get me that. It'd just be confusing. And what would Ranger think (he doesn't read this blog. Maybe he should)?], I am just following the prompt. How about everyone else. What's on YOUR Christmas list?

Questions: Is Christmas your favorite holiday?

Well, no, but I enjoy how it brings people closer together. I enjoy that everyone's a little more united and willing and giving. But my favorite holiday is Independence Day. First of all, because I love red and blue (Yeah, totally a girl for picking the holiday with my favorite color. Sounds like cheating). But it's true! I like the pride that red and blue bring. I love the boldness of the colors, especially together. I also enjoy all the good food. I mean, there's good food at Christmas, and it's all sugary sweet or smoked, but there's something about the light airiness of summertime food. It makes you feel good and full of energy and not sluggish like can happen with Christmas food. Christmas food is more for hibernating in the winter. July food is more for going out and adventuring. 

I also like the 4th of July because of all the memories. We used to go watch fireworks as a kid, and I used to like sitting down next to my dad. He could tell me exactly how everything worked, and I found that FASCINATING. Like how many people it took to light off one firework, or why they showed up in such n such pattern, or what made each color. He just knows that sort of stuff. 

To me, July and Christmas are 2 of the most important family times. Both bring people closer together. But you gotta admit, July's a LOT warmer. 

Christmas Posts

So I figured out something else to write about! I found THIS, and decided it would make a good prompt. So I can put off deciding what my blog's for AGAIN until after Christmas! Yay! ;c)

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Thanksgiving: Gratitude Challenge 25th

Is it twisted to be grateful for the chance to be grateful? I've really needed an excuse to look for something to be grateful for. I'm so blessed and I really have taken advantage of so many blessings! And I've needed something to change my mood. I dont think I'm "all cured" yet, in fact, I'm still not where I want to be, but I'm ready to end the challenge. Mostly because I'm running out of things to say. Not things to be grateful for, but things to say. Its time to move on to the next task on this blog.

Thanksgiving was great. I spent it with Ranger's family. First we ate with Ranger's grandparents and extended family on Ranger's Dad's side, then we went and picked up Ranger's mom and had Thanksgiving with Ranger's immediate family (mom, dad, and brother+sister-in-law, as well as her parents and siblings). I LOVE his family. Is that unusual? I've already  raved about his dad, but he deserves it. What a man! And Ranger's mom is pretty great, too. She wants the best for her son, even if she's not quite sure how to show it. And as far as Ranger's brother's concerned, well he lives a different lifestyle than I do, but he's cool with that, so I am, too. He's easy-going, he's easy to get along with, and he is cool with the fact that I'm dating his brother, so I guess that's that, hu? At any rate, it's much easier to get along with them than I expected. But that's how this whole relationship's been: easier than I expected. 

Some People are Better Than Me: Gratitude Challenge 24

This gratitude is actually a little mixed. I'm really grateful that Ranger is so helpful. That is one of the things I love about him. It was one of the first things that I saw in him and admired about him. It means he's the type of guy I want in my life. But when it comes to sacrificing MY plans, I'm not so good at being grateful. So that's why I'm glad that some people are better than I am. I'm glad he helps, even if it annoys me sometimes. I can already see it that this sort of frustration will happen A LOT! He's so giving, he often doesn't think about personal sacrifice at all. I admire that about him, and I pray that I'll get over my frustration. And even come to emulate that characteristic. I wish I were more like him.

But Not All of it

 The things you say when this is your first romance are different after you're already a mom. See, he can't have all of my heart. A piece of it is already taken. And although they say your heart grows with each new love, it seems like most couples start out with a larger percentage they can give than I can. The only way I could explain it was to write it in poetry form. (Trolls, please don't steal my work...)

I love you,
           Yet you are not my only love.
You have my heart
           But you still don't have all of it.
You mean so much to me, 
           Yet you are not my everything.
I can't wait to spend time with you, 
     I start my days wondering when I get to see you,
           Yet my life does not revolve around you.
You are my love,
            But you are not my life. 
You mean the world to me,
           But you are not my world.
I treasure you,
           Yet you are not my only treasure.
I'm blessed to have you in my life,
           But you are not the only blessing.
You are not the reason I'm alive.
You are not my one and only.
I am not nothing without you
            Because I'm still Mom. 

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Playing Catch-up: Gratitude Challenge 23

I am a control freak, I admit it. I like everything to be neat and orderly and I like to know what is going on with everyone. My house is often messy and unorganized, but that's not the real me. The real me has a very organized house, the problem is she's so busy organizing everything BESIDES her house, it often doesnt show. It was nice to still be "snowed in" yesterday, only in my own house. I got to get a lot done. And I'm going to continue organizing and getting things done today, too.

Hence why this post is so short. I'm off to work.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Snow Days: Gratitude Challenge

I spent all day doing nothing on Monday. It was wonderful. I was snowed in at Ranger's dad's house, and both of them were at work, so I had ABSOLUTELY nothing to entertain me all day. I wasted a whole day and can't feel bad about it because there was nothing to do, anyway. Didn't have to take B to school, because she was stuck there too.

Some times it's good to do nothing all day.

Shhh... it's a secret.

No, not that secret. Another secret. Like what I'm giving everyone for Christmas this year. Do you want to know? Are you a good secret keeper?

I had these mugs in mind anyway, and then I saw this idea on one of the blogs I follow, and I LOVE it. So I'm gonna try it out. We'll see how it goes.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Repentance and Clean Babies: Gratitude Challenge 21st

While we were in Boise this weekend we spent some time with my family. It was great... sort of. I learned that I'm not so impressed with some of my siblings' choices. But they're not me. They have their own choices and lifestyles and I need to just love them anyway. So, I spent a lot of time thinking. I love my family. I want what's best for them. I don't want them to get hurt or be stuck in bad situations. Especially because I know how it feels to hurt and be in bad situations. I was really worried for them. For where their lives will take them.

And then I got to hold a little baby for one of my mom's friends. So fresh and innocent. So simple. And he even smelled good! And as I held this little guy, I wondered what his life would be like and what he'd get to experience. I wondered what he'd see and do with his life. And how I wished some people could just stay in that clean, innocent state forever. As I kept thinking, I realized, we all have a chance to go back to that. Except when we go back, we'll be a lot wiser and a lot more prepared than this little baby is now. And even if my siblings aren't ready to make those choices right now, some day, they may be. And I'm grateful that they'll have the choice to change their life. I can't protect them from the consequences of their choices, but I can love them anyway.

And I will love them anyway. 

Salesmen that are Good at Their Jobs: Gratitude Challenge 20th

For most of my life, I've hated salesmen. Or at least I've hated the good ones. I'd say its nothing personal, but the truth is, it is. I hate feeling manipulated or pressured. HATE that feeling. I swore I'd never be a salesman because I cant stand the pressure of walking the fine line between encouraging a sale, and manipulating people into a sale. Even if the product's great. And I've had experience in sales. They give you this magic formula to say to potential clients/customers. And it always frustrated me. I don't want to sell a product because someone else says it's good. I want to sell the product because I know it's good. And if I don't know if it's good or not, then aren't I lying to them to convince them to buy such a "great" product? This feeling grew stronger once my ex left with his girlfriend, because I looked back and saw just how good of a salesman he was. How many things he got me to do that I wasn't comfortable with. And that made my resolve to hate salesmen and manipulators all the more. I learned their tricks in order to turn it back on them. I can tell when I'm being persuaded. I can tell when someone's being fake or pressuring. I'm not saying all salesmen are bad. Or that all salesmen manipulate. But I have never been comfortable with that line between encouragement and manipulation. It's too thin for my tastes.

Saturday, however, I learned what a good salesman was like. I spent about 4 hours talking to a salesman, and I feel more edified for it. And I didn't even buy his product. He had values. He had insights as to what I even wanted, and those insights rang true to me. He was good at reading my expressions and my thoughts without using them against me. He knew his facts and gave me full disclosure. He educated me about the products I was looking at. So much so that when I met up with Ranger later that afternoon and told him how impressed I was, Ranger wanted to meet him too. So we spend MORE time talking to the salesman. And still didn't come out with any purchases, but we both feel wiser about any decision we would make in the future.

I wish all salesmen were like that.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

"Close" Games: Gratitude Challenge 19th

What  if everything was blue and orange? What if even the grass was blue? And if everyone's dressed in blue and orange, even orange boxers (yeah, I saw those, too. Not from anyone I know, mind you. Drunk people are a bit candid with their... information). What if everyone is excited and bubbly and talkative and friendly, and willing to wait around in 36 degree weather... and still thinks it's fun. And some of those people are a little drunk, and think anything's fun.

So what if...?

Well, you must have been at the BSU game with us! Boise State vs Fresno State. 51 to ZERO.


Seriously. As many of my friends went to BSU, I've heard over and over that they need to be in a higher league, but I didn't pay much attention until I saw it for myself on Friday! I sat behind the North goal post, and for the first quarter, I thought I was in for a long night and that football must be better on TV. I had NO clue what was going on. And then in the second quarter, I realized my mistake. The problem wasn't being AT the game, it was that Boise was so good that for the first quarter, everything was on the OTHER half of the field. And then when they rotated, we got a really great game. When it was 4th quarter, we all sat back, knowing full well we'd seen all the action we were going to be able to see for the rest of the game. Bronco touchdown turf was on the other end of the field. We'd be able to get cozy and warm in our seats. And with a score like 51-0, it's no surprise we felt that way.

 It was a great game. Cold, but well worth it! And those that know me would be less than surprised that I was the idiot out there in sandals. People kept giving me a hard time, and I just took it. They didn't believe I'd still have toes by the end of the night. Well I'm happy to report, I still have all 10 toes and they work just fine. One of the guys in front of us thought I was faking the fact that my toes were just fine, so he dropped his beer bottle cap and dared me to pick it up. With my toes. And I did. I mean, sure it was cold, but I was just fine. I sit on my feet anyway, and so they were nice and cozy all night. And my ears were under a hat. And my hands were in gloves. Believe me, I've been much colder for much less.  I might not get to go to another game for a very long time, and never thought I'd actually have the opportunity, anyway, so to me it was surreal. And worth a little bit of "Idaho weather."

At the very end of the game, the jolly guy sitting behind us clapped his hands and said, "close game, close game. Wasn't sure who'd win there for a while." And we all just chuckled. Yup, close game.

Had to throw this picture in for my talented sister. And for the record, I think she did much better. But I may just be a little biased.

What others had to say:
Quotes by Fresno's Coach.
A breakdown of statistics for the game.
I like the first line in this article. So true.
Good quality writing.
More good writing by same site.
A lot of stuff my little (not football-oriented) brain can't understand, but written by BSU.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Surprises: Gratitude Challenge 18th

I was supposed to have a week left of work. 3 days, at least. And I go to work, get half way through my shift and the manager pulls me aside to tell me that she managed to get the schedule situated so that I didn't have to come in at all next week. And I had to negotiate with someone so I could get Saturday off (big plans), so, viola! Thursday was my last day of work! Yay! Things might have to be reevaluated soon, but for now, my needs are met, and I'm SOOO ready to be done. It was messing with my priorities, and my moods. It just was not good for me or for my daughter. I see better grades, more quality time, and a much less stressed me in my future.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Some Days: Gratitude Challenge 17th

Some days all you can be grateful for is that they're over. It wasnt necessarily a BAD day, it just was gray and mopey and I got nothing done and I wasnt in a good mood. And the weather really affects my mood. When it's mopey, I am mopey. Sunshine does WONDERS for me.

I asked my mother what I should say I'm grateful for for this day, and she says, sometimes all you can be grateful for is that you got out of bed, survived the day, and then it was over. And that's okay. She reminded me that sometimes we need days like that to remember what a good day is, and that it reminds us to be grateful for the fact that we're alive. She said sometimes that's enough.

The problem is, the day could have been wonderful! And when I really look back, it was a good day, it was all just my attitude. I just wanted to stay home and be a bum. And I was doing a good job of it, too! And Ranger KNEW that's what I was looking forward to. And then he went and made plans! Dang him! ;c) His friends decided to elope, and he was the witness. So he said I was coming along. Well it was time to get a reality check FAST since I was NOT going to ruin some one's wedding. Especially because I was one of 3 other guests. And one of them was the officiator's husband.

But wedding aside, I still wished I could be home and be lazy. However, I think from what I know of Ranger, that will rarely happen. He's the type that when he finds out someone needs something, our plans will change, and we'll be going to help. We've already done it twice. On 2 of the 4 dates we actually planned. And so, no matter how much I want what I want, I think I'll have to get used to the idea of sudden detours.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

It's Not Fair: Gratitude Challenge 16th

I have ... an acquaintance who is sooo caught up in whether or not things are fair that she's frequently grumpy, rarely happy, and always frustrated. Before, she's directed this frustration towards others, and I guess it's finally my turn. And I'm glad it's my turn, because her influence was starting to wear off onto me, and I was frustrated by that (ironic. Frustrated by frustration). But now that I have a chance to step back, I have come to this conclusion:

If you're caught up in what's fair or not, no one ever reaches their potential. You don't because you just stop working. Others don't because you're holding them back. And life becomes miserable. You stop noticing the beauty and the good in others and only realize what they're NOT doing. How they fall short, and how you're better than they are. You become proud and place yourself above the rest. You frustrate everyone else because they will never be able to reach your standards because you will keep raising the bar. And they're sick of your whining. You ostracize yourself until you have no real friends, because they're not good enough for you anyway, and then you realize that you're lonely and have no one else to blame. You become unteachable. You start to feel like you know everything, and that no one knows more than you do. And, you're never happy.

Well, I don't want this for my life. I enjoy helping others reach their potential and I hope they help me reach mine. I want to see the beauty around me and the good in others. I want to be humble. I want to be friends with others, and I hope I don't annoy them. I want to be surrounded by real friends. I want to be teachable. And most of all, I want to be happy.

I realize that sometimes life just isn't fair. And that's okay. It'll work itself out in the end. Sometimes things aren't the way I think they should be, but I think it's time for me to stop worrying about everything and everyone else, and just work on me. I think I will like the results a lot better.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

It's an Orca

I was asked if I could make an Orca piƱata recently. I knew it'd be challenging but I jumped at the chance. I think it turned out pretty cute. Here's the shape:

I make it with a wire frame and then paper mache over the top of it. As you can see, it still looks kinda boxy and blah, but I've learned that doesn't matter. 

Starting to get some details. I learned from this endeavor that covering it with black first is completely a waste of my time, however for a white coat it probably would have been smart. Notice my kitchen getting messier and messier. Hence why the finished product pics are taken elsewhere: 

The girl has brown eyes, so I made the Orca with brown eyes. 

And I loved them, until I glued them on (you know, so they weren't gonna move no matter how much I needed them to) and realized the eyelashes went the wrong direction.  Oh well. I still think it's way cute. And I'm sure I'm the only one that noticed the eyes.

Teachers: Gratitude Challenge 15th

My daughter is stubborn. My mother likes to point out that she gets this from me on a regular basis. In all honestly, we're so much alike it's scary. I'm hoping to use that to my advantage when she's a teen because I will be able to relate to where she's coming from. Otherwise, we'll be in BIG trouble, because we will NEVER get along. 

One of the things B is stubborn about (and I was, too) is that moms know nothing and teachers know everything. I've just resigned myself to that truth because my mom keeps reminding me she knows how I feel and that gets old. Just kidding, Mom, I love you...

My mom likes to tell this story about when I was younger, she decided to test the magnitude of this "awesome and unknown power" of teachers. She called the teacher up and asked her to tell me to come home and clean my room. The teacher laughed and thought she was joking. Mom politely informed her she wasn't, and just wait and see what happened. So, my teacher (who was probably laughing to herself) came up to me while we were doing a project of some sort and told me it was important to keep our rooms clean so that we could be safe and have fun. Any guesses what happened that night? I came home and cleaned my room. 

Well, B is the same way. She had NO desire to learn the alphabet or how to read or anything. But now TEACHER says it's important, so she's excelling. She started school 2 months ago knowing very few letters and couldn't even spell her name (the first letter was enough for her). Now she writes her name on everything, knows all the letters and can put them in alphabetical order. She can read and even write. She knows how to spell "I," "see," and "my." Now, I know, this is no grand achievement. Some day, she'll be reading paragraphs. And chapters. And novels. But right now, that doesn't matter. My little girl can read. 

While I was working on a pinata for a friend (pics to come) B was coloring a picture for me. When I was cleaning up, I looked at the picture, and sure enough, there is every word (minus her name) that she knows how to spell. And yeah, the "S" is a little goofy, but hey, I can understand it. She's learning how to spell colors right now, too. Pink and Red and Blue. She can recognize yellow and green, but that's just because she looks for the y and g. At any rate, I'm so proud!

It's a mom thing. 

Monday, November 15, 2010

Answers: Gratitude Challenge 14th

I have a problem. It's the yucky word called Fear.

See, I've been so excited about the relationship with Ranger. And it's slowly been sinking in that this relationship's getting pretty serious. And that scares me! Suddenly, I'm asking myself, "am I really ready do to this? Am I really emotionally healed enough? And what if this gets that serious and find out that relationships are just like it was before? What if that's what life is really like? What if he's not right for me? Would I even accept it if that really was the case? Can I handle his faults, along with his talents? Can he handle me? I mean, I'm sort of outspoken and moody and all over the place. And are all of these fears trying to tell me something or are they just  because I've been hurt before?" I get in that chain of thought and just keep worrying, worrying, worrying.

And then Sunday comes around, and I'm still worrying, and wondering what to do with this fear, and praying that I come up with an answer quickly. Church started off with a Missionary sharing a lesson he learned on his mission. It was that we should look forward with hope and not worry. We should take our worries and cross them out and not think about them, and look forward to the future. Okay, I can handle that. I think. And the next speaker talked about watching out for those that need our support. Completely different, right? Sure, up until the point that he started talking about how fear can keep us from doing what we want and should do. That we should stop being afraid. And then Sunday School talked about how fear will keep us from being good leaders. And then, I help out with the young women in my church. And their lesson was on how fear and worry are a waste of time. Well, I don't know if it ever actually came up, but it did to me. That was what MY lesson was on.  And by then, I'm saying "Okay, I get it!" and we were listening to the Sunday music channel here, which plays uplifting music along with uplifting messages. And guess what the uplifting message was on? Overcoming fear and just doing what you're afraid of.

And then, to top it off, this morning I found this message: (please ignore the grammar errors. They make me cringe):

So, the answer that I needed to receive was this: Stop being afraid. Enjoy life, don't miss out on the opportunities because you were too busy worrying. And I'm okay with that. I'm okay with the direction this is going. I feel an underlying peace, even though I should work harder at keeping it with me (and not complaining or worrying so much). We'll see how things go from here. :c)

Freedom of Thought: Gratitude Challenge 13th

Had work on Saturday. Not such a fun day. But I was already grateful for 3 weeks, and it kinda seemed... ungrateful to be grateful it's down to two. And we're going for positive, here, right? So, on the positive side, I'm grateful for the right I have to hate my job. I'm grateful that I at least have the opportunity to quit.

And further more, I'm grateful that the reason that I hate my job is a right I have, too. I have a right to think for myself. What a  wonderful blessing! To be able to make choices, to do things the way I want to (even though I don't have that right at work, I'm grateful to know the difference). I am grateful that I know that I have worth and that I should be treated with respect. I think of so many countries and careers that don't get that right. And I am grateful to know that  I do. I'm grateful that I have options. If something isn't working, I can change it.

Now... Just to survive 2 more weeks.

Libraries: Gratitude Challenge 12th

Do you ever have that sinking feeling that maybe you should have rethought the last 10 seconds before you closed the door? Or get half way to your destination and then realize your pockets are a little too empty? That you are missing an important something-or-other?

Yes, I locked myself out earlier this week. It happens quite regularly, actually. I have a knack for locking myself out. I think I've done it 6 times in the past year. I keep remembering "that other time" and the tally keeps growing. One time I locked myself out and had to walk to church (which wasn't so close) and the whole men's group had their lesson on "How to break into Keira's house" I'm hoping it was at least an entertaining one. And then there was the time I left my spare keys at my friends house in case anyone needed anything while I was on vacation (because I wouldn't put it past myself to forget to have done something before I left) and then she had to drop everything because I was locked out and had to be to work PRONTO. And then when I left my keys with her again, in case the same thing happened. And it did. And then the times I had my spare keys locked in my garage in a padlocked case so I could get to them but no one else could (there are 2 of those times), and then this time. When I had Ranger get the Halloween candy ready because I forgot to get it out, and so he had the spare keys and  I just kept forgetting to get them back from him. The problem is, he works every day until about 6. And I was getting B from school at 3 when I discovered their absence.

What do we do for 3 hours? In the cold almost-winter? Well, go to the library, of course!

I've been too busy to go to the library for a while. Add to that the huge fine I have had on my card for quite some time (did I mention I'm forgetful? I shouldn't be responsible for remembering library books), and that makes it even less likely we'll go. But I had 3 hours to kill and it was a great opportunity to spend time with B.  So, with all other endeavors put on hold (some of them important), B and I read books. And more books. And B got to play on the library computers. And we read MORE books. And all in all, it was a nice break. And a nice place to stay warm. For 3 hours.

Ranger asked if I wanted my spare keys back. I said maybe he'd better hold onto them, so that if this happens again, I can get in.

I say "if," but I mean "when." 

Lets face it, with me, it's almost a guarantee. 

Air Force Veterans: Gratitude Challenge 11th

Did I mention I'm an Air Force Brat? Well, kinda. I rarely lived on base, and we didn't have to move so much, but I still got the taste of it. We still moved more than the average kids, and I added it up once, my dad was gone for 8 years out of the 17 I lived at home. But even though it's been years since I've been home, I'm still just as proud of the title.

Being an Air Force Brat means I'm pretty stubborn and independent, but know when I've gone too far. It means I still believe in respect, both toward my country, my "elders," and my peers. It means I know what the flag stands for, I stand for the Anthem, and I say the pledge. It means I know the meaning of sacrifice. It means I'm proud of the work that our troops are doing overseas and have seen the effects on both US soldiers and those lives they touch. It means I have lived through some pretty tough and scary times. And it means I'm happier than ever that my dad made the choice he did.

He's my hero. 
In more ways than one. 

Friday, November 12, 2010

Reunions: Gratitude Challenge Nov 10th

Yeah, November 10th, I'm a day behind still (I write the Gratitude Challenge the day AFTER), so today I should also write for the 11th, and then tomorrow, I'll write for the 12th (today).

Got to meet with old friends I haven't seen since college on Wednesday. It's funny, some of them live so close, and I've yet to visit with too many of them. Or even SEE many of them. It was great to reminisce about old times.

Ironically, I'm also grateful I've grown since college. I wouldn't say I've reached some grand "maturity" level worth noting, but I've definitely come further. It's nice to realize how far you've come.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Legs That Walk: Gratitude Challenge

I love walking. I mean it, LOVE. I grew up living outside a small town, where it was much too far away to walk anywhere. And when we moved, we moved even FURTHER out of a small town. So I never had the chance to walk to wherever I needed. And I really LOVE walking. I love living close enough to go to the store or the school or the bank or wherever without getting in the car. I love the way exercise makes you feel, even if it's not that much exercise to even count. I love that I am saving money and that makes me feel good. And technically, I'm supposed to be training for a 5 mile run and have done absolutely nothing to prepare thus far, so walking is my only saving grace! I think it's funny, but every time I walk, everyone offers me a ride. No one seems to enjoy walking as much as I do. I guess they're all in a hurry, or maybe they're cold, and I'm cold too, but to me it's worth it.

Well, after getting 3 offers for rides in one day I was about to hang in the towel, so to speak, and just drive everywhere, when one of my freinds pulled me aside and said "Keira, you are my inspiration. I see you walking everywhere and I want to be more like you. " I am so glad she did! Because I was about to give up something I really enjoy just because I was sick of making people worry about me! But I mean I cant just stop doing something if someone else admires me, can I?

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

3 weeks: Gratitude Challenge

I have tried to like my job. I really have! And I DID like it for the first few months. And then they have made changes and undid changes and changed again and every week is a new change. And the managers and supervisors started treating me like I was a teenager and couldn't think for myself. And... well it just has escalated from there. And finally it got to the point where it was starting to affect other things.  I've been moody and chaotic and scatterbrained recently. I have had to turn down some great opportunities. And it's taken away my weekends. So I finally decided that it was time to quit. And then, right before I went to talk to the manager to put my two weeks notice in... someone else did. And I thought, "well that kills it!" So I couldn't put my two weeks in, because I have this problem about feeling bad for people. I wanted to have Thanksgiving off and the manager had said no, so I was quitting before Thanksgiving. But after the person quit right before me, I just couldn't do that. So I will still be working Thanksgiving weekend. It will be my last day.

I had work yesterday. And the whole time I had to keep telling myself that I only had 3 weeks left. Only 3 weeks. I just cant wait to be treated like a grownup again!

Monday, November 8, 2010

The Oak Tree by Johnny Ray Ryder Jr: Gratitude Challenge

A mighty wind blew night and day
It stole the oak tree's leaves away
Then snapped its boughs and pulled its bark
Until the oak was tired and stark

But still the oak tree held its ground
While other trees fell all around
The weary wind gave up and spoke.
How can you still be standing Oak?

The oak tree said, I know that you
Can break each branch of mine in two
Carry every leaf away
Shake my limbs, and make me sway

But I have roots stretched in the earth
Growing stronger since my birth
You'll never touch them, for you see
They are the deepest part of me

Until today, I wasn't sure
Of just how much I could endure
But now I've found, with thanks to you
I'm stronger than I ever knew

This poem was shared at the CES Fireside yesterday. I absolutely LOVE it. I can relate with the tree in that I'm grateful to realize how strong I am now. And I feel like I've been in that wind storm before. And I hope that I can have the same attitude all the time. It reminded me of one of my favorite songs, Roots before Branches. 

(hey, hey! I just figured out how to get videos in my blog posts again! Yay for me!)

I've always felt that it is smart to know what you stand for. I feel like if I lose sight of who I am and what I stand for and who I want to be then I lose myself, so it's always been something I cherish "down deep." Throughout the years, I have learned and re-learned that I am a daughter of a Heavenly Father who loves me, and I love him. I am bold and sometimes I'm too pushy. I am a truth giver and truth seeker. I am a marriage advocate, and a divorcee. I am eclectic and a contradiction. And most of all, I am okay with who I am, even though I will still try to be better, and even though I'm far from perfect. 

Ranger's Dad

We took a 6 hour trip in the middle of the night for Ranger's job over the weekend, nonstop driving there and back. I came along to keep Ranger awake (don't worry, we had to check in with both parents frequently. No chance for any trouble). Before we left, Ranger's dad made sure he was prepared to pull an all-nighter. I guess you could say he put his foot down. He spoke with such conviction, I'd stay awake while driving not because it was the safe thing, but because I wouldn't want to disappoint this man! I can tell that he's the sort that when he says something and means it, you'd better listen. Which should be a scary thing. My past has taught me that someone who exerts so much control is someone to be feared. But the difference is this: What he said he said with such love that mountains could have moved if he needed them to. I have no doubt that he loves his son. Every firm word he gives is so enveloped in love it becomes that much more powerful.

So where did B go for this all-nighter? Asleep in the spare bedroom at Ranger's dad's house. It was so touching to see how nervous his dad was to be the caretaker. When we got there, I could tell he was nervous. I don't wonder, either. I mean, not only has it been a while since this man has had to care for a five year old, but Ranger's family consists of men. No little girls who like princesses and pretend and pink. And I think the angels were watching out for him that night, because B came in all kinds of excited. She wasted no time in introducing Ranger's dad to all the stuffed animals she'd brought for entertainment. Or informing him that she'd brought movies to watch or that she was doing such-n-such in school. Completely at ease. Which is a big deal, for B. I could hear the sigh of relief in his voice when he said "yeah, she'll be just fine here." And I sighed, too. Not because I was worried about anything, but because it meant so much to me that he was worried. Silly, I know. Must be a mom thing. And when we got back, in the wee hours of the morning, there she was, all tucked in, with every stuffed animal lying next to her.

But it doesn't end there! My original plans for the weekend included making frosting to teach a cake decorating class early the next morning. And since those plans changed, I had just resolved to buying some icing the next morning. And Ranger was going to be out and about so he agreed to grab some for me so that I could get ready for the class. And then he got held up helping family out. So I was all ready to go take an immediate trip to the store, get what I needed and nix the shower until after the class (yeah, sorry. TMI). I started asking Ranger's dad if he'd watch B (who was still asleep) while I ran to the store to get the things, and instead, he dropped everything and went and got icing for me. And decorator bags. And he had a busy day ahead of him,  too! I still feel guilt for having him help me, honestly. I hope he doesn't think I used or manipulated him. Or his son. The morning was complicated, and it very easily could have been a terrible day, but it wasn't.  And full credit to that goes to Ranger's dad. I don't think he'll ever understand (mostly because I can never express) how much that meant to me. It wasn't "this is your project, you do it." Something needed done, so he did it. And then apologized because Ranger was held up. Seriously! When I feel guilty for needing his help, HE apologizes.

I have met very few men that hold such caliber. Such quiet strength. Such dignity. What an awesome man. No wonder he's Ranger's hero.

Gentlemen and Their Fathers: Gratitude Challenge

This piece of gratitude is hard for me to express. I don't want to sound like the "ex-wife," and I don't want to get anyone's hopes up for the future. It's easy to express gratitude for the semi-personal things. It becomes a much harder challenge to express gratitude for something that touched you so deeply, put some fears to rest, and reminded you what it really means to love and to live. Especially when the only way to explain why it means so much is to talk about some of the yucky stuff - stuff like divorce, the term "ex" in general. I've tried so hard to not discuss too much of what my life was like before I got divorced. It is in the past, I chose my marriage, and it had its purpose. It could have been something miraculous and good, could have been everything I ever wanted. And for a long time, I still had hopes for it, even though it wasn't miraculous OR good. I still thought it would work. And now I look back and I'm so grateful it didn't. It's a hard thing to admit. I am still very much a marriage advocate. I believe in marriages. I believe that any two people can make a marriage work, ANY two people. The clincher is that both people have to want it. Both people have to do what it takes. And sometimes it's not fun, and rarely is it easy, but I still believe that it's worth it.

But my marriage failed. As strong as my beliefs in marriage are, I cannot change another's. And as hard as it is to explain my marriage, I'm grateful that it taught me what is not okay, not good enough for me. After my ex left, I spent a lot of time thinking about what I wanted out of life, what I wanted for myself and for my daughter. What would make me take down some barriers and let myself love again. And a lot of it was respect. I wanted someone who would treat me like I mattered, like I was special. And I've already expressed a little bit about it, but it goes further than that. Any project I had was my deal. Any issue B had was my deal. Diapers, midnight feedings and nightmares, cuts and bruises. Locking myself out of the car at Walmart,  needing groceries so I could cook dinner. Any project, or get together, or family occasion - it was my deal. My problem. And if things went wrong, man did I ever beat myself up about it. Dinner couldn't be late, the house needed to be spotless, and B had to be on best behavior, or I had failed. And I thought that was just how it was. That I wasn't doing enough. It's funny, but now, I look back at life and wonder what he really did all day. The first thing that came to mind was work, and then I remember that he didn't have a job for half of our marriage. What DID he do all day? And how was that okay with me? I mean, I still take full responsibility to have a clean house and a well mannered child and like the "domestic" part of being a wife (some day) and mother, but I didn't need to beat myself up about it. And just because that's my chosen "job" (some day) doesn't mean I couldn't use or have used some help. Or a kind word. Or any form of gratitude.  And my ex-father-in-law... well he made me fear the concept of fathers-in-law. He told me that the affair was all my fault. That if I had treated my ex better, then he never would have wanted to go elsewhere. That if I had just done more, been more, this whole thing never would have happened. He told me I was evil. Seriously, that was his word. Evil. I have not seen that man in 2 years, and would like to keep it that way. I cannot express how much what he said to me really hurt me. I had thought that this man was someone to be respected, to look up to. And for him, someone I admired (or at least thought I admired), to say I was evil and not good enough... yeah, it hurt. And it was no surprise that everything was "my deal" because that's exactly how my ex-father-in-law made me feel, too. I didn't need any help from him, it was all my deal. If I couldn't do it, then I shouldn't have signed up for it. What it all boils down to is that I was empty. And I thought that was just how it was. I was empty, life was empty, marriage was empty. 

And then life suddenly took a change for me, in the form of divorce, and I learned how much there really is to life. Or at least I thought I had learned it. But really I had no idea how much I was still missing. I had higher expectations, higher ambitions, and higher perspectives, so I thought I was set. And then I met Ranger. And he blew those expectations, ambitions, and perspectives right out of the air. My expectations were SO low. I wanted to be treated like I was human, but with Ranger, I'm treated like a queen. I wanted to be valued, but with Ranger, I'm treasured. I wanted to be respected, but with Ranger, I'm honored. I have never known such respect. If I had even thought I deserved such value with my ex, I would have been shot down; it was pride talking to think I deserved treated that way. I needed to work harder before I could be treasured. Or even valued. 

I thought Ranger was too good to be true. And then I met his dad. If Ranger turns out just like his dad (hopefully with a few less trials), that would be just fine.