Family

All posts tagged Family

It’s entirely possible I’ve completely lost my mind.

Published January 23, 2019 by Malia

When I was growing up, every summer my family would come home to Nebraska for two weeks to see family.  One of the days we were back, would be spent getting a watermelon, and going to Guide Rock, to see my Great Grandma B.  She passed away when I was ten, so I don’t have tons of memories of her, but the ones I do have are precious.

Great Grandma B was a short and sweet lady.  She always had cookies in the cookie jar, a giant garden, and there was always a jigsaw puzzle in progress.  Even though I never worked on a puzzle with her, I was always in awe of them.  When she passed away, I was allowed to have a few of her puzzles, and that’s when my love affair with jigsaws began.

I drove my mom absolutely batty over the years because I constantly wanted to have a jigsaw going, but my incredibly short attention span meant that it would take me months to complete one.  As I got older, I fell off doing puzzles, but that didn’t mean I stopped loving them.  Then, last spring, I stumbled across a group on Facebook where people were sharing their completed jigsaws.  I wanted to share, so I joined and jumped back into puzzling.  In the last year, I’ve completed a pile of puzzles, and when registration for the 2019 Global Jigsaw Jubilee opened, I signed up.  I’d seen people’s completed puzzles from the 2018 Jubilee, and something competitive inside me had awoken.  I wanted to prove that I’m just as awesome a puzzler as all those others who’ve participated.

The event starts on 1/29, so I have five days left to prepare.  Here’s the puzzles I’m planning to work on:

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I intend to start with the Ravensburger, simply because I think it will prove to be the easiest.img_20190123_1208412052016742778206415077.jpg

Putting together the little squares of images should prove *fingers crossed* relatively easy.

Next up will be the DC Comics puzzle:

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Considering how much we love DC in this house, this puzzle is a must do.  (Points to you if you can name everyone in the image without help.  I can name at least half, but I know Tom could name them all if asked).

After that, I head into more challenging waters.  The Disney Kinkade puzzles:

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These are two of my favorite Disney princess movies.  Most of my life Beauty & the Beast was my favorite, but it was dethroned when Tangled came along.  Tangled and Moana are currently tied at the top of my favorites list.

Finally, I’m going to tackle this monster:

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3000 pieces of Star Trek magic.

Here’s the thing, I’ve never completed a puzzle bigger than 1000 pieces.  I’m not too concerned about the 1500 piece ones, but that 3000 piece one is definitely going to test my abilities.  Going in, I know that the Ravensburger and Aquarius puzzles will have the best fitting, best condition pieces.  The Disney puzzles are Ceaco brand, and if previous experience with Ceaco is any indicator, I’ll get a bit frustrated.  Their puzzles are beautiful, but pieces are usually not great.  Here’s hoping that this will be a fun experience!

So…Probably Not Pregnant

Published January 14, 2019 by Malia

(Okay, if you’re squeamish about words like period, then this post is probably one you want to avoid.)

I spent the first two weeks of this new year thinking I was pregnant.  All the symptoms were there, and then my period started on Saturday, so yeah…probably not preggers.

This isn’t the first time I’ve thought I was pregnant.  In fact I’ve even had a few times when the test has shown up positive, but it’s never lasted.  I’ve not been public about those pregnancies, mostly because I felt like such a failure.

This is the first time that I’ve genuinely felt both disappointed and thrilled when my period showed up.  The disappointment stems from knowing that this means more waiting.  The thrilled part comes from the fact that I’ve actually managed to have a normal cycle for one of the very few times in my life.

My heart has undergone a shift.  I’ve gone from being willing to be a mom but feeling unsure about whether I really wanted kids, to knowing that I genuinely want to be a mom, and not just because I know Tom wants to be a dad.  I’ve never bought into that idea that you’re not a family or complete without kids.  I’ve known for a long time that kids may be just out of the realm of possibility (thanks a lot, PCOS).  Our family was formed when we said, “I do.”  Children would just make our family bit bigger, and I suddenly find myself really wanting that.

Now, I find myself facing the fact that I absolutely must get healthy.  If I want to have a hope of a successful pregnancy, or of having an adoption agency being willing to even talk to us, I have to be mentally and physically healthy.

I’m Grateful and Rageful

Published November 28, 2013 by Malia

I’ll get to the rage in a moment.  First, what I’m thankful for.

1.  Family.  Good times or bad, I love that I have a close family that is very supportive of each other.

2.  My excellent friends.  I’ve been very blessed with five wonderful women that I consider to be very dear friends.  Each one knows me, faults and all, and still lets me be part of their lives.

3.  My job.  A year ago, I never would have guessed that I was just weeks away from starting a job I truly love.  A job that I gladly go to, and that I truly enjoy.  Also, I have a really fantastic supervisor, and I’d be really lost without her.

4.  My love of reading, and the easy access to an almost unlimited supply of books that there is.

5.  The roof over my head.

6.  A working vehicle.

7.  Snapple.  Silly, I know, but it’s quite yummy.

8.  Doctor Who.  I love this “kid’s” show.  It’s smart, funny, and is something I can share with my family and friends.

9.  I’m generally healthy, and have much to live for and look forward to in this life.

Okay, so, it’s not so much rage as irritation.  Tomorrow is Black Friday.  I understand the theory behind the day.  It makes sense that businesses want to try to get in the black before the year ends.  However, and yes I know I’m not the only one saying this, it has gone from out of control to complete absurdity.  It used to be just one psycho day, but now it’s almost a full week.  How is  this okay?  Plus, it seems that there’s at least one death every year in connection with Black Friday shopping.  People’s lives should be of more value.  What does that say about this culture when possessions are held in higher esteem than a human being?  Don’t misunderstand me, I’m as greedy as the next person, but even I have my limits.

So, if you’re going to take part in the madness, remember that your fellow shoppers are human beings.  Remember that the people working in the stores aren’t making very much, aren’t getting to spend time with their loved ones (and have likely missed most and/or all of Thanksgiving), and being rude to them isn’t going to make things go any better for you.

I don’t care, but maybe I do?

Published December 7, 2012 by Malia

I’m going home this weekend for one night.  There is actually a logical explanation for why I’m going to make a 1,000 mile round trip in approximately 34 hours.  Suffice it to say, it’s a good thing I’m going, even though it’s for one night, because it’ll allow me to take a load of belongings home.

Home.

What a mixture of emotions that thought conjures up.

I’m both excited and terrified of going.  I have such wonderful pipe dream plans of things I hope to accomplish, and yet I find myself obsessing over the fact that I’m going home with no job.  Yes, there are a few places that have indicated interest in possibly employing me (which is more than I had the last time I was unemployed), but there’s such a terror in the unknown.

I keep telling myself that I’m a strong young woman, and I don’t care a fig what everyone else thinks.  This is progress.  Even though a small part of me does care, I’ve at least reached a point where I can say out loud “I don’t care” and 99% mean it.  I think no matter how much we don’t care, secretly we all somewhat have that 1% of desire for approval from others.

I am truly looking forward to seeing my “niece” more than once every 4 months.  Babies grow fast.  I always knew that, but it’s really hitting home with me now that I have this little girl in my life.  She’s so precious, and I just melt when I’m around her.  That’s never really happened for me before with a baby.  I grew up an only child, and babies just weren’t a big part of my life.  As I’ve gotten older, I’ve shied away from being around babies.  I think this is mainly due to the fact that when I see a baby, it hurts something deep inside.  It’s this reminder that much as I desire to be a wife and mother (not because I’m wishing I was a 50’s housewife, but because I want to love and nurture), to this point those are things I’ve been denied.  I’ve avoided babies trying to protect myself, and it’s not just babies.

I’ve come to realize that in the last 10 years I’ve built up quite the wall around my heart.  The building has been slow going.  At first, whenever something hurt, or I was rejected, I’d put in another brick.  Then, I began ending things before they could hurt me, which meant there were more bricks being placed around my heart.  I did try, a few times, to take a chance on various things, but all ended in disaster, and  I went from using bricks to welding a metal shield around my heart.  When I was home at Thanksgiving, and I saw baby girl, I realized just how much I’ve sealed my heart off.

I’m going to try, very hard, to remove the shield, and undo the bricks.  I don’t want to be a heartless old hag.  I want to love and be loved.  I want to be able to love and accept myself, even with the laundry list of faults I know I have.  I’m not going to be perfect at it, but I’m going give it my best, and that’s all I can hope to do.

Random Saturday Musings

Published October 28, 2012 by Malia

-I love when I watch a movie that I haven’t watched in years and see that it’s still just as awesome as I remember it being.

-Sometimes it really kills me how divided I feel.  I love & miss my family and friends at home, but if I weren’t here I’d feel the same about the people here.

-I feel confused about the iPad mini.  How is this any different than an iPod touch?  Much as I love my computer and iPod, it disturbs me that now marketing strategies seem to be, “Look, it’s a size we’ve kinda sorta, but not really offered before!  Aren’t we amazing?  Isn’t it great you’ll be willing to pay a couple of car &/or mortgage payments to own this?”

-I’m starting to think it’s a good thing for me not to watch Husker games.  They win when I don’t watch.  Because, of course, the world revolves around me.

-I miss my furry babies.  I know I’m going to get home for Thanksgiving and Howie will completely and totally ignore me until it’s time for me to leave, and I don’t care.  I miss his fuzzy orange face!  I miss my Gracie, too.  I miss watching her try to flirt with Sam & Dean whenever Supernatural is on.

-Aunty Ellen, if you’re reading this, Happy Birthday!  I’ll call you later today (cause I’m pretty sure 4 a.m. wouldn’t be a good time to call).  I’m so blessed to have you for an aunt, and I admire you so much.  I hope you know how much you mean to me, and how truly amazing I think you are!  I love you so much!

-I’m so thankful that my family doesn’t badger me about “When are you going to get married,” or “When are you going to have kids.”  It’s hard enough when no one shows any romantic interest, and knowing there’s a 98% chance of no babies in my future.  I’m just so unbelievably thankful this isn’t a standard I’m held up to.  Instead, I’m allowed to chase my dreams, no matter how silly and foolish other people might find them.Dear Family, you are so amazing and I’d be such a bigger mess without you.

-I’m going to be 28 in 27 days.  How insane is that?  I don’t feel like I’m going to be 28.  I feel like 15 or 16.  The only times I feel old is when I’m around kids who are amazed by the fact that I remember seeing certain films (Land Before Time, Beauty & The Beast, & The Lion King to name a few) the first time they were in the theater.

-Is it weird to say that just seeing my severely beat up copy of Fellowship of the Ring is comforting to me?  I can’t explain it.  I have no idea how many times I’ve read LOTR , I lost count years ago.  Actually, I never kept count.  I just would read the series, and as soon as I finished Return of the King I’d cycle right back into Fellowship.  

-It really bothers me when I see commercials for kid computers and the kids are learning to read and write on the tablet.  I think what truly worries/frustrates/irritates me, is that usually you don’t see the parent until the end of the commercial and inevitably they’re either peeking around a corner or passing through the room where the child is.  Computers shouldn’t be teaching the children!  Parents need to be whipping out the good, old McGuffey Reader and teaching the child.  Reading is not a computer game.  There’s a huge difference between teaching the kid how to recognize and pronounce a word, and teaching a child to do those things and love the words.  Computers don’t love.  They’re a machine.  Words are so important.  Books are important.  I feel like whole generations of children are being denied the pleasure of being friends with words, and that saddens me so much.  Computers are great, and fun, but there are some things that they shouldn’t solely be relied on to do.

Morbid Jelly Beans

Published August 20, 2012 by Malia

My room is mostly put together.  I still haven’t gotten my desktop computer up and running, but otherwise things are going okay.  When I was unloading the van last night I felt like I had a ton of stuff with me, but looking around, I don’t think I really brought that much.  It just happened that the stuff I brought took up much packing space.  I brought a few things that remind me of home, including some things that I pulled when we were going through Grampa’s remaining belongings.  Included was a glass “Jelly Belly” jar.  Inside the jar are a few remaining “Jelly Belly” jelly beans that he never got eaten.  Mom asked me if I’d gotten a refill for the jar, and I said, “No, I’ve just got these sad little morbid jelly beans sitting here.”  I find it slightly odd to think about those things that hold memories of others for us.

Classes start tomorrow.  I’ve got a fun morning of Spanish and Modern Grammar.  I’m not incredibly worried, but I’d be lying if I said I’m not nervous.  The last time I took any Spanish was my junior year of high school, most notably remembered for the fact that A. I had to have all my wisdom teeth out that year, and more importantly B. 9/11 happened during my fall semester.  I’ve heard excellent things about my teacher, so I’m really looking forward to remembering and improving my Spanish.  I’m not sure how to feel about Modern Grammar.  I’m glad I’m not stuck in archaic grammar, but I’m really hoping modern doesn’t mean I’m going to have to unlearn everything I learned years ago.  Once upon a time I really excelled at grammar, and while I still remember the basics, I’ve gotten lazy over the years.

I’m hoping my cable to plug my television into the campus cable comes tomorrow.  I figured that even though I don’t want to watch tv ad naseum, I have a tv, and I’m paying for campus cable via my student fees (there’s no way to opt out of the cable as far as I know), so I might as well make use of the “free” cable.  (Side note: I find it interesting how things get presented as being “free,” when really all free means is that you’re not paying out of pocket at this moment.)

The truly bright and shining moment of today was the return of Taco in a Bag.  Last year I was introduced to the concept, and while initially I thought it weird, and that it looked kind of nauseating, it’s also kind of addictive.  It was just as good as I remembered, and I took it as a positive sign that this is going to be a year of excellence.