Monday, December 23, 2013

Alaska Update: Month 5

    Yes, there are still 11 of us living in a 3 bedroom house in Alaska (1 toilet. One.). I know it sounds like we lost our minds on the crazy train (it's been 5 months. I think.) but if you think about it....that's how people lived prior to the organization of cities, and some people groups still live that way- family members living together in with your ginormously extended family and servants (and animals).  People raised their kids together. You didn't have to find a babysitter-there was always someone around to watch the kiddos (not that there was anywhere else to go, either!).
     And yes, that's how we semi-rationalize our crazy-train living right now. I mean sure, having another toilet would be utmost convenient (especially for the prego lady of the house),'s not a reality right now. And yes, this is Alaska, but we live in an actual neighborhood with actual neighbors who may report us for peeing on a tree.
       So here's a story: I was so tired the other night that when the Forro girls wanted Amber to sleep in their room (3bdrm= 4boys in 1, then girls sleep in parent's room), I chided her for wanting to take her suitcase (which is where she keeps all her clothes). "It's not like you're going to live with them" I said in front of the other adults. Their almost-unison response was, "Where have you been for the past 4 months, Michelle? She IS living with us/them". Yeah...Not my most alert moment. But, it is what it is. For however long it is. And we're together. (But another toilet would be nice. Super-duper nice.)

Monday, December 16, 2013

Breaking Up Is Hard To Do

   "'Cause breaking up is hard to do-oo".
    So true. Especially when you have that really deep attachment. When you feel cared about. When you do your best, knowing it's appreciated. Staying, because you want to. You're needed-and it's fantastic. Until you *know*-you just know that it's time to break up.
     And that's why it was so hard for me to break up with my Hallmark bosses. Because they were wonderful to me and acted like I was the best thing that happened to their stores (which was true-I was trained in a corporate store and had the best boss!).
      So, the time came and I started a new job (it paid more & is what my degree {that I will one day get} is in) but couldn't break up with my bosses. As things would have it, Hub's work hours had temporarily changed at that time too, so I ended up using that as my excuse for quitting. And, it didn't seem to work. (Serious amounts of guilt here-these people were the first to offer me a job in AK: I saw the Hallmark store and walked in, both owners were in the store and I told them I had corporate Hallmark experience. I didn't even need an interview-they just asked when I could start!)
      Less than five minutes after I sent my "buh-bye" email, one of my bosses called me, begging me to stay. Christmas was "7 Saturdays away!" Was there any day I *could* work? (um....Saturdays??) Could I do a weeknight at all?? (uh...3 hours on Friday??) Okay, fine. I agreed to it "just until after Christmas". Gah. I just kept digging myself a deeper hole. So deep.
       Well, now it's one weekend before Christmas. And I saw my boss Friday. And reminded him that I was "leaving". Because breaking up is hard to do, and you want to make sure that the other party involved "gets it". Like....we-are-officially-broken-up-stop-calling-me-broken-up. And I added that I was *looking* (not "started". Because I just couldn't....) for a job at a child care place. seems like he got it that time. I hope. Regardless of what the January schedule says, I'm not showing up (unless it's to shop!).
        So, honesty did not win the fight this time. I'm not sure it was even invited to the party. But I'm being honest now, right? So that's gotta count for something...Because breaking up is hard to do...

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

WHiny Wednesday 12-11-13

           People complaining. That's what this Whiny Weds is about. Yes. I am complaining about people complaining. Most of us do it. It feels good sometimes, other times, it just seems to create a desire to continue to complain. About everything. (Although none of us here have complained about the weather yet-we kind of knew what we were getting in to, plus all the locals have told us how this winter is turning out to be mild compared to "typical Alaskan winters".)
          I think people complaining about their jobs is annoying-you're getting paid to do --------- so if you have a problem with it, just quit your job. Oh wait, you need the $$?? Then stop complaining before your boss fires you. You accepted the job for whatever reason, so find a happy medium, even if it's the fantastic coffee in the breakroom. I believe that people should love (or at least like. Like.) that jobs. I mean, if you're gonna do something all day, everyday, it should be something you enjoy. If the types of jobs you enjoy don't pay enough $$, then lower your expenses or start your own business. See?? Problem solved. Everyone's happy.
          My "song of the week" is Mighty to Save by Hillsong. It starts out with "Everyone needs compassion" Compassion, people. Forgiving because you just don't always know what someone else is going through. Here's a link to a vid of the song:
           Enjoy the day!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Changing My Relational Views With Women

       "Let me tell ya 'bout my beh-est friend..."
        Seriously. She's different. She's inadvertently helped me redefine my relationships with women.  She's a non-fou-fou type woman who...tries to be a tad girly for her daughters. She believes in honesty and (due to her complex background) has a wealth of knowledge about a ton of stuff due to her diverse educational background. My relationship with her has changed how I view my friendships with other women and changed my relational behaviors. Like:
       1. No frivilous compliments. At all. She never tells me how fantastically blonde my hair is, or if she likes a certain cut. She never compliments me on my shirts (although we both shop Old Navy and therefore have a lot of the same shirts) or outfits. I never hear about how much weight I must've lost (or gained). And it hasn't hurt me. If she has something to say, she says it, and means it.
       2. No whining support. I'm not sure how to term it, but basically, I've learned to stop complaining about problems/situations if I'm not looking for a solution (and why wouldn't you want a solution if something is bothering you??). I've noticed that (after 7 years) I go to her seeking solutions to problems (and if I wanna complain, I have God & the Hubs & FB for that) and she usually provides an answer (this is where the wealth of knowledge comes in)
       3. Self-confidence comes from within. I shouldn't care what other people think of me or my actions (only what God thinks). No frivilous compliments, remember?
      4. Being real is better than being fake. Sometimes we place to much emphasis on what people say or do instead of having compassion and letting the situation go because we don't know the whole story. Sure, truth may be a bit harsh sometimes, but I'd rather have the truth hurt a little now than find out I was lied to later.
          What that looks like now: I find myself complimenting a person if I truly like/enjoy something. I keep my complaining to a minimum. Who I am depends on me, not what others think of me. Proverbs 27:17 says that friends need to sharpen each other like how we use (or used to) iron to sharpen iron. To me that means that even if it hurts to hear, if it's told in love & with the purpose of helping someone better themself, it's necessary.
          Have a great week!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Whiny Wednesday Dec 4

           If you're new to this series, it's currently dedicated to the large number of vanity tags in Anchorage, AK. I have this new obsession with writing them down, and last week I was supposed to do math instead of writing tags down to find out *just how many* of the 5% of the vanity tags in AK actually reside/drive through Anchorage.
           Since I've only been writing down calculations for the past few days, I think I will go ahead and share some more of the interesting ones with you (feel free to comment!):
           AK1LUV (I keep seeing this one!)
           IAMNOT (oh yes  you are!)
           O SNAP (One of my fav!)
           SHE IS (She is what??)
           RVNEST (Obviously they own an RV or it's "raven east"....hhhmmmm)
           FAIL (Did I share that one last week??)
           AY MAY (I read that as a drawn out "Amy")
           NO PROB
           DID IT        
         Now I need to go get ready for work, but I will try my best to be a "good girl" and do some more math to find out the vanity penetration rate for Anchorage. Because I think I can.