Sunday, April 24, 2011

A Buttery Good Day

I work every other Friday. Though, I don't particularly like working on Saturday to get these Fridays off I make the most of my Fridays. I try to arrange my schedule to run errands and make appointments to these Fridays off but lately there hasn't been much going on. That means Baby Butter and I get to have a day of  F-U-N!!!

This last Friday we slept in. Late. We're talking 7:30 am! Amazing, I know. After being lazy we finally got dressed and made our way to Winchell's for donuts. Here is my Baby Butter enjoying his chocolate donut with sprinkles.

After we washed our hands we went to the library. You'd think after spending all week there that would be the very last place I'd want to go on my day off. Well, here's the deal. When Peanut and later Butter were smaller I hated going to the library because they never let me look at books. I'd let them play and they'd scream when it was time to go to the other side of the library for mommy to look at books and as you know, screaming is not allowed in the library. After a while I just stopped taking them. Now that I work there I see the books when they're being checked in, shelved, or are unpacked from boxes before processing. I often take books home and am never want of a good, or at least different, book. (Don't get me started on all the bad ones I've started this year that after a hundred pages or so I just couldn't finish.) So now I don't mind taking the kids to the library anymore because I don't need to looks at books and can just let them play and look at books and when we're done, we're done and we go home.

Batman...I mean, Butter-man likes the puzzles. I'm mean and make him put the one he's torn apart together before he can get the next one out. Well, that's what we're working on anyway. More often than not I end up putting 3/4 of the forgotten puzzle back together so he can move on. But it's a learning process that we're working on.

He's also a big fan of the chess board. We're still working on the rules of this game but he tries. He just forgets that he can't move the Queen in his first move. And more often than not the Knights end up kissing somewhere off the board. Or maybe they're just talking about horse power. ;)

So there you go, updated pictures of Baby Butter.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Nazca Lines

Have you heard about the Nazca Lines? There are several geoglyphs (a drawing in the ground) in southern Peru that date back a couple thousand years, best guess. They are really awesome and you should check out the pictures online.

I learned about them a few months ago when it was a slow night at the library and my coworker and I were looking up crop circles. The Nazca Lines are not crop circles but in our exploration I stumbled on these.

Flash forward to today when another coworker said "Have you ever heard of some lines in South America in animal shapes?" and I replied, "Yes, yes I have." I quickly did a Google search and voila! there was all the information for her. I'm sure she was impressed.

I will never again complain about being so bored at work that I'm "forced" to play on the internet. Because I just never know when that information will come in handy.


Thursday, April 07, 2011

The Last Lecture

I did it again. I read a book that made me cry. You'd think after reading The Art of Racing in the Rain I would've learned my lesson. It appears I have not.

I've been eyeballing this book ever since I started working at Hastings. I saw an interview with Randy Pausch on Oprah and was blown away by his story. In case you don't know, Randy Pausch was diagnose with terminal cancer and as a professor he was able to give a final speech, or Last Lecture. Go here to watch the YouTube of it. I dare you not to cry. It's a little over an hour long but worth every minute of your time.

Seeing as I am terrified don't like to cry I purposely avoided the book but still I was drawn to it. I'll never read it, I told myself as an excuse not to buy it. But then I started working at the library and I was no longer tempted to buy the book. Instead, the local library not only had the book but they also had the book on audio. So one day, I took the plunge and checked out the BOCD.

Though I teared up regularly, Randy used humor and inspiration in his book that's not about dying, but about living. Here are some of the things I took with me from this book.

Two quotes from his father, "never make a decision until you have to". And, "just because you're in the driver's seat, doesn't mean you have to run over people." The first I had never really thought about but makes sense. How many times do I make snap decisions when another choice would've been better? Plenty. The second one just makes sense period.

When you see yourself doing something badly and nobody's bothering to tell you anymore, that's a bad place to be. You may not want to hear it, but your critics are often the ones telling you they still love you and care about you, and want to make you better.
I recently had my 6 week review at work. For the most part it was a good review but there were a few things said that stung just a bit. My three month review will take place in the next few weeks but I'm no longer dreading it. They're taking the time to tell me what they see I can improve on. They still care. That's a good thing.

Brick walls are there for a reason. They give us a chance to show how badly we want something.
Ah, isn't this the truth? So many things in life are too easy for us and the generation coming up. We need challenges in our lives to show us just what it is we're willing to fight for. This next quote is closely related.

Brick walls are there for a reason. And once you get over them -even if someone has to practically had to throw you over- it can be helpful to others to tell them how you did it.

I've faced a few brick walls in my life. Some I can tell you about easily. Others are still a little hard to talk about but I will if you ask me. I hope the next time I'm up against a brick wall I look at it like this, with these filters over my eyes.

There were dozens of other things I wrote down in a journal of things I wanted to remember from this book. Simple things that I already know, but need to remind myself of from time to time.  If you have the chance to read or listen to this book I hope you will. At the very least, I hope you'll take the time to watch his last lecture. You won't be disappointed.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

The Art of Thank You Cards

Growing up my mother, the saint that she is, taught me to send thank you cards for my birthday presents. I wasn't always consistant with it but I did try. As I grew older I realized that not very many people seemed to do it. And now it appears to be a lost art form in many homes.

After Nickel and I got married my mother kindly suggested I send out my thank you cards promptly so I wouldn't forget. I will admit that the first half did infact go out promptly. The other half...well, lets just say I hope they were not terribly offended when they didn't get one.

I was a little better about my cards when Peanut and Butter were born. And when Peanut was old enough to write "THANK YOU" I too taught my daughter the Art of Thank You cards. She, like her mother, is not always consistant, but she tries.

One year when Peanut was very young we went to the farm to visit Nickel's grandmother. I handed over a card to Grandma who asked if it was Mother's Day card, as it was near that season, but I said no, it's a thank you card from me and Peanut. She confided in me that my sister-in-law and I were the only ones who ever sent her thank you cards. This made me sad. My sister-in-law and I were both fairly new to the family, she had married in just a year before I did. Did no one ever bother to tell her thank you before that? I couldn't believe it. But then again, Grandma had all grandsons and we were the first granddaughters to come along, so maybe I do believe it.

Thank you cards take less than five minutes of my time. I often find myself in Hallmark or in the stationary isle in Walmart admiring the different cards. Mostly I just buy the blank ones with pretty front covers because they can be used for so many purposes. They're perfect for a quick note to say thank you for a recent gift, you were on my mind, or I love you. And since I have two or three boxes at any given time I can choose the one that best fits my mood or purpose for the card. A note, in my own writing lets the person I'm sending it to know that I, me myself, took the time to express my gratitude. I know when I do get thank you notes myself it means a lot to me.

So next time someone gives you a gift surprise them with a thank you card.