Be Careful Little Eyes What You See…

This past week I was talking with a new friend about movies. My friend told me that in the past year he has seen more than 300! I smiled when I heard that, because I don’t know if I have ever seen that many movies in my entire life. I tried to explain that while I am a little picky about what I watch, it’s mostly just that I am really sensitive about what I watch. I’m a visual learner, as most people are, and once I see something it is really really hard for me to erase it from my memory…so I don’t watch very many movies.

For years, Myranda and I were pretty into the Disney Channel scene. And a LOT of people made fun of us for that, to our faces and I am SURE behind our backs, too. But I didn’t care then, and I still don’t. I’d honestly still rather watch Hannah Montana than watch Paranormal Activity. What’s wrong with taking part in innocence? I really don’t like how people want me to feel less grown up for watching shows that lack violence and darkness. Truthfully though, in the last couple years even I have grown out of channel 51 (for the most part!). 😉

Anyways.

Being that I am so sensitive, I have noticed lately that commercials are really starting to get on my nerves. They are loud and annoying, and since I am lacking funds right now to buy all those “fabulous” products out there, I am even further annoyed!

It all started when I watched that Dove commercial that I posted on here. Something really stirred in my heart that day and I realized how brain washed I am. And how brain washed you are, too. THEN last Sunday at church Pastor Leon showed us this clip…

…and now I am even madder. The word ‘annoyed’ doesn’t even cut it anymore.

Do you ever feel an impending sense of doom? Sometimes, especially lately, I feel that way about our culture. Whoever said that it was okay to make people feel like crap for not being perfect? Who was it who decided what beauty is in the first place?

Why am I watching commercial after commercial after commercial telling me I am not good enough? Why should I have to buy every product under the sun to be loved?

For one week, I am not watching commercials to the very very very best of my ability. If I am watching TV, I will mute it during breaks. If I am driving down Hwy 1, I will keep my eyes on the road and not read every.single.billboard for miles and miles selling me stuff.

I figure that if I am protective enough of my soul to not watch scary or dark movies, it’s time for me to start protecting my soul from the things in this world that are telling me I am not good enough. It sucks though that we can’t even watch a YouTube video anymore without having to first sit through an advertisement, hey? I feel really sad about that. But the only thing I can do really is choose to stay away from it.

In this next week, I am not expecting a miracle, as if every insecurity I have will cease to exist. But I AM expecting the clouds from eyes to slowly start to lift. And for that I am excited.

Be careful little eyes what you see…

~C

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GOD BLESS THE INTERNET!

For more than one reason, I am incredibly thankful for this thing we call the ‘net. Seriously.

When I was in grade 9 (or was it 10, Katie?) I got my first email address and my first taste of the powers of the internet. I had a large group of friends that year, and with a large group of friends come many challenges. It feels weird to even be bringing this up because it has been a good 12 or 13 years since then, but a few people (in my friendship circle) started sending emails to the entire group. Hate emails. Super duper creepy emails. The sender(s) called himself/herself/themselves No Name Brand. I don’t even know if it is bad for me to be bringing this up because I have no clue who sent them, but it’s likely that the person who did might be reading this because I still have (somewhat distant) relationships with a lot of people from high school thanks to facebook. Whoever it was though sure gave me a bit of a scare, although it’s nice to think back on that and realize it was harmless.

Anyways, so obviously that is an example of how crappy the internet can be sometimes. Right, not to mention the child pornography and crazy stalking and the sad reality of wasted time…

But for me, right now, and especially yesterday, the internet is a GOD-SEND. Within an hour of hitting ‘publish’ on that super-hard-for-me-to-write post, I had a job offer. And by the end of the day, it turned out that I had found enough work to not only supplement my income but also maybe provide enough for me to not stress over the Christmas break. God is good, people! AND one of the things I didn’t write but really had on my heart was that I really wanted to protect my nights…it would be easy enough to get a job at Starbucks but I know that if I was working till closing and getting only 5 or 6 hours of sleep, my first and foremost job of teaching preschool would suffer. So thankfully that isn’t going to happen!

To those who emailed/texted/bbm’d me about my work situation, THANK YOU. Thank you times a million, actually. I’m so excited to start this new (busy) chapter!

In the meantime, I was asked to co-direct the kids Christmas choir/production at my church. We started rehearsals Wednesdays. I have a post about that (and other such things) coming up soon 🙂

There is one more internet-related thing I want to share with you this morning…

When I was writing in my last post about having too much pride to get a new job, I realized that there is another area of my life I have been holding back telling you about because…well, because of that pride thing again.

Recently I joined the awe-inspiring world of eHarmony. Now THAT is something I never thought I would share! Perhaps this will need to be a post that stands alone, but for now I can tell you that I was a hater, my friends. Admittedly I judged eHarmony and I didn’t see myself ever using it, but here I am. And I need to get used to saying that to people because it’s starting to feel normal to me. More on that later, I’m thinking…

Thankfully most of you won’t find that weird, but it will be weird explaining it to my gramma…although she is pretty hip. She can send emails and google things like nobody’s business!

So here we are, friends…FRIDAY. At last! Here’s hoping you have fun-filled adventures ahead of you!

~C

(Another Serving of) Humble Pie

No, not another recipe this time. Not that kind of pie at all, actually.

This is the type of pie that no one really wants to eat…it doesn’t go down easily.

Today I write because I need some help. I’m gonna keep it simple and straight-to-the point:

I need a second job. And I don’t know why that is so hard for me to say…Lots of people need more work right now, so I know I am not alone, but still. It’s been almost 3 entire years that I have been working for the City, and before that I kept the same job for almost 5 years straight (minus some extended stays in Africa!). So I guess I’m just out of the loop where applying for jobs comes in. It feels foreign to me. And hard because one of my weaknesses is definitely pride and I hate the idea of starting again at the bottom of the food chain (or something to that effect). You know what I mean, right? It’s not easy to admit this, but it’s true.

So I will be craigslisting it up, as well as searching through engines for a second job, but I thought I would throw this out into cyberspace as well and check with any of you if you know of something that is out there for me. You all know how to reach me if you do.

Last night I watched an amazing mini-documetry on a kid called Garvan Byrne. One of the commenters on his video remarked how this little boy was more of a man than most of us will ever be, and it seems true to me. I’m glad I happened to watch it last night because suddenly my lot in life pales in comparison with the life this kid led in his short 12 years. He has given me much to think about.

Moving back in with my parents shouldn’t be the worst thing in the world, but I really don’t want it to come to that now that I have found my cottage, so please cross your fingers with me that something comes up before that happens! 🙂

Happy Friday-Eve!

~C

PS For all my fellow employees who read this, I’m not going anywhere! Just needing to supplement since we don’t work full-time 🙂 MissesCreena is here to stay!

NOT Another Recipe Blog…

When I started writing this blog I knew it had no limits, but I honestly didn’t expect to ever write about baking or cooking…and yet…

It would be incredibly mean and maybe even sinful of me to NOT share this recipe with you, because it is ridiculously easy. Even my 11 year old niece Tina could swing this one if she wanted to.

Who are we kidding? My 11 year old niece is most likely more gifted than me when it comes to the matter of all-things-kitchen. It’s not that I can’t cook…it’s just that I don’t. And plus, have you SEEN the size of my counter at the cottage? I think Kylee’s change table has more space than my counter does!

I found this recipe here. This lady is somethin’ else—the tag line of her blog is “Raising half a dozen kids; Staying sane by God’s grace”…So I figured that if a mother of 6 kids under the age of 7 (TWO sets of twins, yo!) could make these muffins, I could too.

Now, get a pen and a piece of paper because you might not remember all the ingredients…

This:

And this:

I was basically kidding about the pen and paper thing, because I’m pretty sure you can remember those two ingredients. Mix them together. That’s it. No oil, no eggs, no water, nothin’. (Obviously the brands don’t matter—but I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that! I got no-name cake mix at Walmart for $1…don’t judge me) 😉

Told ya it was easy. It was also fun. And funny, because I only have a muffin tray with room for 6 muffins…so ten thousand batches later, I was done baking. LOTS of people were gifted with pumpkin muffins today! Good thing it was my friend’s baby’s dedication this morning!

If Martha Stewart had an opposite as black is to white, that would be me. But every once in awhile, this domestic goddess in me emerges and I quite enjoy things like this.

Oh, and if you want to come to the cottage for a visit, you should soon because the muffins that I didn’t give away aren’t gonna last too long!

Another thing? Bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes. And don’t fill them too high with batter because they rise quite a bit. They are delicious! I used light cream cheese icing to frost them but I think they would be fine on their own, or even just with powdered sugar sprinkled overtop.

Hope your weekend was divine!

~C

All the Single Ladies :)

Seriously, I thought I was the ONLY one left! It usually feels that way; like everyone around me is in a different place in life, and even though I don’t think about it all the time, it still gets to me sometimes that I’m not where I wanted to be at this point in my life.

On Thanksgiving Monday I had the privilege of attending a dinner at my dear friend Tamara’s place. She and her housemates call it The Nest. It’s a very appropriate name for such a warm and inviting and cozy place. Even though I do consider myself to be pretty extraverted, sometimes it’s hard for me to be comfortable with new people in a new place and I can come off as pretty shy…so when I found out that I was one of eleven ladies attending Thanksgiving dinner, I seriously almost decided not to go. It seemed easier to stay home and read or something. I even sat in my car for awhile, not even sure if I was going in, and I tell ya, the pie I had baked was still hot and sitting in the seat next to me and it was super hard to justify wasting it on just myself…so in I went.

Amazing scents and the friendliest faces you can imagine greeted me as I took of my coat which was drenched—can you believe how hard it rained on that blustery Thanksgiving Monday?! Walking in that door felt like being home even though I hadn’t been to The Nest yet. I knew at that point that I had made a good decision by leaving my comfort zone behind.

I remember last Christmas how it suddenly dawned on me that I’m not a child anymore…and it occurred to me again that day. I always thought that roasting turkeys was a job for omas and mothers…but here were my friends throwing together (okay, not throwing together—I know it was a lot of hard work!) a beautiful meal, to be served on a table set for ELEVEN! That’s a lot of people! And it’s also a lot of love.

Aside from the wonderful meal, the best part of that night was the fact that I shared it with ten BEAUTY-FULL women who actually “get” me right now. I was finally among All the Single Ladies! I felt so understood at that point, and so good about the fact that I know I am not alone anymore. And a really neat thing about it is that guys and relationships (or lack there-of) barely ever came up. I can’t even remember if it did at all, actually. No, here we were, eleven girls just happy to be together, happy to have each other, happy to have been rescued and redeemed from dangerous and hurtful relationships (in some cases; not all, of course). Cheesy as it may sound to you, we sat around the “fire” (tea lights in the fireplace 🙂 ) and shared some things that we are particularly thankful for this year. A common theme was that we were thankful for each other. All these girls who were only hours before strangers now share a kinship. And you know what? I was the second youngest girl there. I’m so not alone! WHAT a beautiful experience having witnessed that….

When it was my turn to say what I was thankful for, the answer was pretty easy. That night, I was thankful for laughter. My stomach was literally aching from laughing so hard; the kind where you can’t breathe, can’t speak, can’t move. It was glorious. And sadly not something I have been doing a lot of lately. It’s been my prayer, actually, that I would remember how to laugh like I used to.

Here are some pictures of my single ladies. Even though I may not see some of them ever again, they won’t be forgotten and neither will that night.

.

My single days are numbered. I know they are. I’m not destined to be alone. But for the time being, I’m getting really good at it. Being single, that is. Living in the cottage is amazing and I never want to leave; my friends are incredible (ALL of them, not just the single ladies!) and I am supported and loved and I’m never really alone.

Elphaba (lovingly known as Elphie) from Wicked gets it, too. (and I make no apologies for the fact that this is the millionth time I have referenced Wicked on my blog!)

So if you care to find me, look to the western sky! As someone told me lately, “Everyone deserves the chance to FLY!” And if I’m flying solo, at least I’m flying free! To those who’d ground me, take a message back from me! Tell them how I am defying gravity; They’ll never bring me down…

As a side note, Tamara and her housemates who I can now call my friends publish a blog as well that is DEFINITELY worth checking out. Please do, actually. Go to it. And if you live in the States, watch TLC on December 4th. These girls are going to be FAMOUS! 

You can find these lovely ladies here.

Lovin’ life,

~C

Walkin’ Down Memory Lane…

When I wrote the post confessing to being a people hoarder, my mother wrote a response saying how she can relate to my desire to hold onto things…a different kind of hoarding maybe, but she expressed empathy none-the-less.

It took me a really long time to grow out of my toys. I was well into my teens when I started feeling a peace about parting with the things from my childhood, and though some may be embarrassed to admit that, I’m not. There is nothing, in my opinion, wrong with having an imagination at any age. And I especially think my parents appreciated the fact that while many of my peers were getting wasted, I just wasn’t interested.

It’s funny to me that I never wondered where my toys were going when I finally decided to get rid of them. I think that I thought my mom was taking them to the Salvation Army or something…and some of them probably did end up there. But she kept a huge collection of our toys (hence the hoarding!) and while we tease her for having so much stuff, I am so super grateful that I was given the chance to re-live my childhood memories.

As mentioned in my last post, my parents moved into a new house last spring, and those of you who have ever moved know of a house’s ability to start spitting out things that you never knew existed. Mom recovered boxes and boxes of barbies and stuffed animals and little toys…AND…

An entire box (a HUGE box!) of old McDonalds toys.

And on Thanksgiving, she made me dump them out onto a blanket in the living room and sort through them. It took me hours and my hands were eerily dirty after, but it was pretty fun.

Now I need your help. I don’t know what to do with them. We have probably about 20 or 30 still in bags, most from the late 80s and early 90s, and the rest are in good condition. Should we hold onto them? Put them on Craigslist? Just dump them at Value Village? We’re just not sure. Regardless I will still pick out a few that are fun and that my own children one day might enjoy, but we definitely don’t need them all!

Say hello to some of your old friends 🙂

The Animaniacs!

Bobby’s World!

Furby!

Cabbage Patch Kids!

Sesame Street!

Chip n’ Dale!

Fraggle Rock!

101 Dalmations~

Bambi!

Muppet Babies!

Batman!

Madame Alexander!

Super Mario Bro’s! (Plus a little visit from Sonic the Hedgehog)

Garfield!

Dinosaurs!

Lion King!

Flintstones!

Mickey Mouse Club!

Looney Toons!

And the REAL McDonalds Toys!

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I suppose I could take the time to properly research this stuff, but I know some of you out there are probably experts.

I hope you’re having a really good week so far! I’ll be posting Friday…a little something in the way of the single life 😉

Cheers for now,

~C

Growing Pains

In 1983, my mom and my dad and my gramma all bought a house together. A pretty house on a quiet street close enough to the ocean to breathe in the salt air whenever they wanted to. And soon after they moved into that pretty house, I came along.

Most of the kids I was close to in elementary and high school all had to move at some point in their young lives. While I didn’t envy the kids who had to start at a brand-new school and make brand-new friends, I was still kinda jealous of the fact that these kids had a more interesting life than me. It seemed so boring that I spent my entire childhood in the same house; I wanted adventure, I wanted to have moving men come and bring my toys to a new neighbourhood. But that didn’t happen. And it wasn’t until a few years ago that I really started to appreciate it.

I got my wish for adventure and moving men and boxes when I was 18 and my sweet friends Renee and RJ and I decided to live together. I was proud of myself for spreading my wings and leaving my hometown (of White Rock) and moving to Abbotsford. It seemed so far at the time! Us three girls had a tough go at the “single life”, though. It was a constant struggle to make rent, our suite was far too small for the three of us, we started fires and never quite got into the groove of consistent housework.

I’ll spare you the details of the “in-between” years, but I can tell you that I have had my fair share of suites and house-mates and moving adventures. Too many, actually. The cottage will hopefully be my last stop for a long time. The thought of packing again actually makes me want to cry.

I have a point here. I promise.

Sometime towards the end of April, Gramma called me while I was at work and she told me that I had to come home immediately after my shift because my mom was buying a new house and I needed to come look at it before the mortgage people came.

My world came to a screeching halt.

Blind-sided. Absolutely blind-sided.

No warning, no mention at all actually of anyone wanting to move, and here we were on a random weekday, and everything started to fall apart.

I went to the bathroom and cried like a baby because so much had already happened that month (…you’ll recall…) and I felt really out of control of the situation. But you know what? It turned out to be okay. Everything turned out just fine.

Because guess what? My mom and my step-dad bought the house two doors down. It’s literally my gramma’s house, the neighbour, and my mom’s house. Isn’t that awesome? And after a lot of hard work (which I didn’t exactly help with—sorry Mom!) and some sweat and tears, my parents have turned “The Thompson’s House” into a real home. And I am starting to actually grasp the fact for the first time in my life that home really is where the heart is.

It’s weird to be experiencing growing pains in my late-20’s. My mom had to have a little chat with me tonight when she found me getting a little teary about the changes in our family…I wanted to cry because for the first time ever, Thanksgiving Dinner was at a new house. But she reminded me that change isn’t a bad thing. I am sure I will spend my lifetime learning that lesson…hopefully not the hard way, though.

I have a really neat post coming up later this week, and I will need your help with the content of it. That’s all I’m sayin’ for now. Stay tuned. 🙂

Hope you enjoyed the most lovely of Thanksgivings. I am so thankful to have you in my life.

~C

Give thanks to the Lord for he is good; His love endures forever. Psalm 136:1