Three Things Thursday- 3/29/18

It’s Thursday and three things made me smile this week! (You might be saying, “Only 3, Kat? How sad!” but have no fear- there was LOTS to smile about this week. These three have the honor of being recognized because they came to mind in a split second AND I happened to have pictures of them.

shaun cassidy albumI was reunited with my Shaun Cassidy albums! Who knew that one of my absolutely favorite teen heart throbs could still make my heart go pitter pat? But, just look at him! He’s SOOOOOOO cute!

converse all stars

I got new grey Converse All Stars! This is something I’ve always wanted but never had the nerve to purchase. It was an impulse buy- something I don’t normally do. I couldn’t wait to put them on and show them off!

smile rock

And how cool is this! Someone left a “smile” rock on the meter on the side of my house. Finding this definitely did make me smile! (And it inspired me, too!)

#ThreeThingsThursday- was created by Emily at Nerd in the Brain and hosted by Natalie at There She Goes. Three Things Thursday is a list of three things that made you happy this week.

#Bathwater

What made you smile this week?

-Kat

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Lessons Learned From Someone I Used to Know

There are no big revelations in this list. it’s been said before, heard before, lived before. But have you ever walked away from an experience and thought about what you’re taking away from it? A recent encounter reminded me of these things:

  • Family matters- even if you don’t want it to. They know where you came from. They know who you were.
  • Be careful who you trust. Sometimes you might be looking in the wrong direction and never see it coming.
  • It’s never too late to try and fix things. Words spoken in the heat of the moment might hold some truth, or maybe they are all true, but that still doesn’t mean that things have to remain broken.
  • As much as you might want to slam the door and lock it, it can always open. You have the power to unlock it!
  • Unless you hear the words coming from a person’s mouth, you will never know for sure if they said them. People twist or make up things to suit their own purpose- even people you love.
  • If you don’t want to believe what a person says, look at their actions for reinforcement.
  • There is more than one side to every story. Every person has their own story and your hero might be my  villain. You never know.
  • We all have “stuff” and no one’s is more or less than anyone else’s. It’s just theirs.
  • People can change and often do. We are all shaped by our experiences and each one changes us, maybe in small ways but always in some way.
  • Forgiveness is not a dirty word.
  • Letting go of negative feelings isn’t a statement of denial that something happened.
  • Often the truth is staring you in the face- and you just can’t or don’t want to see it.
  • And sometimes the truth hurts.
  • Everyone isn’t in the same place in their journey and sometimes we need to be patient and wait for the other person to catch up. And sometimes we need to do what we need to do, and know that we will get where we need to be in our own time.
  • If a person is determined to hold on to their hurt and anger and lets it fester and spread, they will remain stuck in that place.
  • Being wrongly accused sucks.
  • Not being allowed to defend yourself sucks more.
  • It ain’t over til it’s over.

“Life is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced.”     

Soren Kierkegaard

Spring has arrived…maybe in name only. Enjoy!

-Kat

What To Do While Not Watching the Super Bowl

It’s the day we’ve all been waiting for- Super Bowl Sunday! Okay, actually it isn’t. The day I’ve been waiting for. If you are like me, one of the six people in the world who doesn’t care whether the Patriots or Eagles win, or which are the most innovative, funny or cute commercials to air during the game, or interested in the anticipated spectacular half-time show, you might be looking for things to do.

Here are a few of my favorite ideas:

  • Binge watch something new (or old) on Netflix.
  • Bake something sweet.
  • Chill out coloring a pretty page.
  • Take a nap.
  • Lose yourself in a good book.
  • Get your creative juices flowing and start a craft project.
  • Watch the snow fall.

And if by chance, one is stuck watching the big game, hold out hope that Heidi might begin soon. (Don’t know what I’m talking about? Google Heidi Bowl!)

Whether football is part of your day or not, hope it’s a good one!

-Kat

 

Three Things Thursday

Isn’t it funny how a certain post will show up in your feed right when you need it most? I was looking for something, not sure what to write about today but wanting to write, and then there it was- the perfect post- #ThreeThingsThursday- created by Emily at Nerd in the Brain and hosted by Natalie at There She Goes. Three Things Thursday is a list of three things that made you happy this week. This actually lines up perfectly with my mindfulness book, which asked me to share some memorable moments.

downtown chicago

 

Before they headed back to school, I was able to spend the day at the museum with my college kids, who I don’t see nearly enough. Going to the museum is a favorite pastime from my childhood that I was able to pass on to my kids. It was a special day.

 

 

 

 

bingo

 

 

I played Bingo with my parents. This is actually a regular occurrence but hasn’t happened in a while due to circumstances beyond our control. It was nice to do something that feels just plain normal and everyday. I’m blessed to have my parents still here and nearby.

 

 

lights

 

We are having a heatwave here in the Midwest, which means the snow, icy slush and general messiness along with the freezing temps are gone- temporarily. I’m going to enjoy the 60 degree day for the brief time it’s here.

 

 

 

 

What made you happy this week?

#Bathwater

I hope your week is going well!

-Kat

Lesson One in Mindfulness

One of the gifts that I got for Kris* for Christmas was a book about creative mindfulness. It was an impulse buy that endless day I was trapped in Target. It’s colorful cover caught my eye and as I leafed through it, I knew that it was something that would interest Kris. I wanted to buy it for myself as well. Because I was freaking out about pulling the holiday together, I tossed two copies of the book in my cart, intending to think it over before I checked out.

I forgot about the book and bought that copy for myself. I didn’t realize it until I was going through the bags and wrapping gifts. I set it aside and pushed it out of my mind. I had Christmas to get through and I was looking forward to having all of my kids together again.

Kris loved the book and they were thrilled to hear that I had purchased one for myself. What happened next was fascinating to experience. I did not get the book for Kris because I felt that they needed lessons in mindfulness. I just knew that Kris would enjoy the activities in the book. In hindsight, I’m pretty sure that the thought process that took place in my decision to buy the book for Kris took place in a split second and if I was to expand it and take a closer look, I would see that yes, on a deeper level I was hoping it would help Kris when they were overwhelmed and perhaps, give them a few lessons in mindfulness.

As winter break proceeded, Kris was engrossed in the book and periodically asked me if I had begun mine yet. I explained that it was a tad bit hectic around the house and I would need to wait until things quieted down. I never saw Kris without the book and as more time passed I noticed a change in Kris. Where there had been tension and awkwardness, Kris was calmer, assured, peaceful. For the past six plus years this child has been up, down, sideways and every which way and this was the most balanced I have seen them.

After the college kids went back to their schools and the work people went back to work, I ventured into my office (aka the place I dumped everything that I needed out of the way for the holidays) and looked for the book. I couldn’t find it.

The next day, Kris texted me, asking if I had begun reading it yet. I admitted that I couldn’t locate it. After the conversation, I went back into the office and did another thorough search. Still no sign.

Another text from Kris. Another failed search. I was getting frustrated and began questioning myself. Did I really buy a second copy of the book? Maybe I put it back on the shelf, trying to save money….. But no, I knew that I had purchased that book!!!

And then this morning, as I was began writing this post and my miserable attempt at mindfulness, I took a deep breath and faced that office again. I moved boxes around, threw out anything no longer needed and stood in the middle of the room, looking around at the same piles of things that I had been looking at every time I searched. And then my foot hit a stack of children’s books and I picked up the top book.

There underneath it was THE book, the one I was looking for, right under my nose all this time.

So, what was my first lesson learned? That I definitely need this book and I definitely need to be more present in the moment. No doubt about it!

mindfulness book

What are your thoughts on mindfulness? Is it something you practice or not give it much thought at all? I would love to hear about it!

Have a great week!

-Kat

^Kris is my 24 year old gender fluid child who uses the pronouns they, them, their.

My Five Favorite Shows (to watch while it’s too cold to go outside)

While the weather outside is oh, so frightfully cold, I’ve found myself spending much of my time watching television. Here are my five favorite shows that I’m watching to pass the time:

  1. Life in Pieces– Currently in its third season, this comedy is perfect in so many ways. It is a half hour show, so when commercials are removed it’s around 22 minutes long- making it a quick watch. Each episode is broken into 4 separate scenes or mini- episodes (lasting 5-6 minutes each) that often have a recurring thread. The ensemble cast plays well together and it’s hard not to feel like you are watching a real family, like maybe your own. I found this series on Netflix while hunting for something to watch with Kris last year. If the voice of the character, Greg, seems slightly familiar its because the actor is Colin Hanks, son of Tom Hanks. (He also bears a resemblance to his famous dad.)
  2. The Americans– This FX series is beginning its sixth and final season. It is centered around two Soviet agents who are spying on the American government while posing as a married couple. It is a drama, and it drew me in from the first episode. I was pleasantly surprised to stumble into Matthew Rhys, portraying one of the Soviet spies and who had previously played Kevin Walker on the show- Brothers & Sisters. I’ve been watching this on Amazon Prime…taking my time since I know the show is ending, just when I found it!
  3. Grey’s Anatomy– Season 14 is in progress now. 14! Although I had heard of the show (you would have to be living under a rock not to have heard about McDreamy!), it wasn’t until I found myself with a newborn for a constant companion less than three years ago that I discovered Grey’s. What can I say? It was love at first viewing. I converted my husband into a fan and Kris is my latest victim. I can’t get enough of this show- and I can’t resist getting a small thrill knowing that the creator- Shonda Rhimes- is a fellow Midwest girl! I was hooked on ER back in the day and apparently I’m just a sucker for hospital drama. This one is another of my Netflix staples, never failing to make me laugh or cry.
  4. Friends– This comedy never grows old for me. I watch it every single night on Nickelodeon. I’m pretty sure I never stopped watching it from the time it first aired. Yes, it has it flaws but hey, who or what doesn’t? You can binge watch it on Netflix but it can also be found on cable stations as well. I have my favorite character- Chandler (I think I relate to him on many levels)- and favorite guest characters- Richard (Tom Selleck)  and David (Hank Azaria), my favorite story lines- Ross and Rachel’s relationship, Chandler and Monica’s courtship, “London, baby!”
  5. Property Brothers– (or almost anything else on HGTV.)  When I tire of comedy and drama, I head over to HGTV and dream about remodeling my house into the home of my dreams…. or meeting the cute Property Brothers- Drew and Jonathan Scott! I love house hunting from the comfort of my own home and it has inspired me to spruce up my surroundings!

What do you think? Have you seen any of these shows? I have a pretty healthy watch list on both Netflix and Amazon Prime but I’m always open to suggestions- am I missing something binge-worthy?

Stay warm (if you are part of the deep freeze that has been taking over parts of the country)!

-Kat

 

Tonight is Christmas

…. so no, it really isn’t Christmas- obviously. I’m a little late with this one but here is my third Christmas song for 51 Weeks: 51 Songs from the Past.

The country band, Alabama, released their first Christmas album in 1985. I was working in retail at the time- open to close almost every day of the week for the month before Christmas, and I had the distinct pleasure(?) of working near the electronic department….where Christmas music was blasted at top volume from open to close. And Alabama Christmas was the music of choice….. By December 26th, I hoped to never hear any of the songs on this album ever again but in time, this became some of my favorite Christmas music.

Tonight is Christmas is a moving song about Christmas, peace and love.

“’cause tonight is Christmas, tonight is love
Tonight we celebrate god’s one and only son
Tonight there’s hope for peace on earth eternally
Tonight is Christmas and the world’s in harmony”

51-weeks-51-songs-from-the-past

Hope your Christmas was peaceful and happy!

-Kat

Still Here

Wondering where I’ve been? I lost track of how long I was in the store when, after hours of frantic last minute gift shopping and desperate food shopping, I realized I needed something that was clear across the store…. I lost hope of ever getting out of here when sales associates began grabbing bags of Hershey Kisses off the shelf, ripping the bags open and offering them to the grid-locked shoppers, in hopes of raising spirits…..or blood sugar. When the shopper in front of me in line couldn’t get her app to work to get her discounts and left the line (and the conveyor stacked with her purchases) to search out a WiFi connection- at the cashier’s suggestion!!!- I couldn’t even react other than to smile sadly (I really hope it was a smile and not a scowl) at the exhausted but helpful employee. My hope is to be home for Christmas!

If you don’t hear from me, odds are great that I’m still here in line and if you pass a woman by the entrance walking around holding her cell phone at odd angles, then you know I’m still here.

Wishing you all a very Happy Holiday!

Kat

Linus and Lucy

My second festive song for 51 Weeks: 51 Songs from the Past is Linus and Lucy. Although not really a holiday song, it is featured in A Charlie Brown Christmas and is often associated with Christmas.

Recorded in 1964 by Vince Guaraldi Trio, this jazz piece has been the opener for several Peanuts movies and is a standard Christmas classic.

The song is named for Linus, Charlie Brown’s best friend, and his sister, Lucy, Charlie Brown’s nemesis. I tried digging into why this song was named after Linus and Lucy but was unable to find anything.

This song always fills me with energy and I have to resist the urge to break out into a very clumsy (and horrifyingly humiliating) Kat dance. In my head, I like to think I look like one of the twin girls who mirror each other, but in my heart I know I just look ridiculous and like I’m having some kind of fit.

The kid in the orange shirt doing the shoulder shrug dance move is the coolest by far. The guy doing the zombie walk in the back is another favorite.

And dare I mention the ending with Snoopy dancing his heart out and upon seeing the expression on Lucy’s and Schroeder’s faces blushing and slinking away….

51-weeks-51-songs-from-the-past

Hope you are getting into the holiday spirit!

-Kat