Thursday, December 30, 2010

Fortyness... I Resolve to Make No Resolutions!

It is that time of year again. The time of year when we reflect on the things we want to change and vow to ourselves that on January 1st we will no longer "be" what ever it is we want to change. It is the time for New Year Resolutions.

What is a resolution anyway? A search on spits back no less than 12 definitions of resolution. Each one of them implies a set conclusion, a clear cut result or a set in stone opinion, outcome, or frame of mind. There is no room for wavering, veering off course, or change of mind without completely negating the meaning of resolution.

If you are like me, you have probably made hundreds of New Year resolutions by the time you have come into your fortyness. These resolutions have been all over the goal map. There are years that there is a resolution to finally get finances set. Other years it may be a resolution to finally get that dreaded "10" pounds off for good. Still in other years it may be to quit smoking, de-clutter, to call your mother once a week, or to once and for all get all the family photos into albums or scrapbooks.

There are huge intentions, but how often do we really see the huge results?

We start out strong, budgeting, dieting, quitting cold turkey... but somewhere within the first couple of weeks we stray off course. The after holiday sale is just too tempting. The dieting feels good for a couple of weeks after all of the holiday gluttony. And that darn vice - well it just has too strong of a hold.

No need to raise a hand, but how many of you have given up on a resolution as soon as you stray? I know I have...

In my fortyness, I have come to see a resolution as a set up for failure. The word itself implies that you are immediately in the "state" of whatever your goal is. That us just not the way life is. So, in my fortyness I am rebelling against resolutions and instead will focus daily on the personal qualities that will help me reach my goals. In my fortyness, I am resolving to make no resolutions. Instead of a resolution, I will spend the next 365 striving for the tenacity, determination, strength, perseverance, and fortitude that will keep me moving one step at a time, and will lead me to the goals that I wish to accomplish in the coming year.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Hat Tricks - Quick and Easy Gifts, Fabric Flowers!

Here are some fun uses for the flowers in the VLOG. Use them as hat or scarf pins, hair clips, headband embellishments, or even as package toppers. Add your own flair to just about anything. Be creative with how you use them!

Begin with rough cup 1" to 1.5" fabric circles. Stack circles and pass through back side of circles, through a bead, and out the other side of the circles. Continue until all 7 "petals" are strung.

Thread back through the first petal to close the flower. Pull till the flower is the form you would like it to be. Knot thread From the back, thread through each flower to secure the shape and then pull thread up through the center of the flower.

Thread a larger bead or button in the center of the flower and knot at the back of the flower. Affix your new creation to a hair clip, a pin, or a headband to complete this quick and easy project!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Fortyness - Happiness in the Holiday Hullabaloo

Have you ever had one of those holiday experiences that makes you want to scrap the whole celebration? An experience in which multiple factors - any one of then capable of causing chaos in the house, coming together in a cosmic clash that threatens the entire past, present, and future of your holiday memories? An experience that only when you look back at it YEARS later that was truly a comedy of errors?

I sure have.

I don't remember the exact year, but in the recent past one of those experiences happened in our house. It was a year that we decided to cut a tree at a tree farm on our way home from spending Thanksgiving with my family in California. About two hours into the 6 hour drive we passed a tree farm that had so lovingly grown our perfect Christmas tree. After much searching and much debate among me, Mr. Mom of Many Hats, and my three baby hats, we decided on the tannenbaum that we would gather round on that special morning. We cut the tree, netted it up, put it atop the car, and we were on our way.

So the strife begins.....

After about 20 miles or so across the windy desert, we started to see the shadow of the tree wavering back an forth across the car. After much discussion, we stopped and re-secured the tree, and stopped and re-secured the tree, and stopped and re-secured the tree.... By the time we turned onto our street our perfect tree had added 3 hours onto an already boring and cranky drive. If a bit longer of a drive was the only price to pay, then it was worth it for our tree. .

We were relieved when finally pulled up to the house and hubby came to a stop, and then opened the garage. Baby hats and I were readying to disembark our big green SUV when Mr. MoMH continued forward into the garage - tree still atop the car. The trunk of the tree now impaled the front of my house. Face in his hands, my husband said a few words, a tear dropped from my eye, and then he slowly backed out. He assessed the damage to the house and the tree, and then walked inside to gather himself. I again shed another tear, but was determined to not let it get to me.

When we finally got the tree down, we put it out on the patio in a bucket of water for a nice long drink. We saw the crack and the bow in the trunk but still admired the beauty of the tree - as did our sweet black lab, Fina. She so admired it that she partook on the water that our lovely tree was drinking. Within a couple of hours, Fina's sweet face was ballooned up like a beach ball. I spent the next 24 hours giving her antihistamine and checking on her to make sure she was still breathing. Worn out from the lack of sleep, I didn't know how much more I could take...but what else could go wrong with getting the tree up?

Once the I knew the dog would survive, I put my efforts back into the tree. Hubby put it in the stand in the corner, I strung the lights, then we all hung ornaments on the tree - including the special ornaments that I had been collecting for years. Although a bit crooked - it looked beautiful. The following morning, I came down stairs to light the tree and found it on the floor, lights and ornaments strewn around the house, and many of the ornaments I collected reduced to tiny shards of colored glass. I put my head in my hands, said a few words, shed a few tears, and then righted the tree. I came down to this same scene two more mornings. By the third morning, I knew that the third time was my limit. I left the room hysterically upset, stressed beyond my coping skills I swore off of that darn tree.

In my fortyness I can look back and smile at this comedy of errors. I smile at every thing that went wrong, and at every re-action and over reaction.

In my fortyness I also smile at all the things that went right. I smile at the wonderful time we had at the tree farm. I smile at spending the hours in the car with my baby hats. I smile at how hard Mr. MoMH worked to get us that tree. I smile at how funny my Fina looked and that she was OK. I smile that when I gave up, my hubby and my girls stepped in and fixed that special tree. I even smile every time I still see the hole in the front of the house because it reminds me of how blessed I am to have the family I have. It reminds me to find happiness in the holiday hullabaloo.