Life

Failing Enthusiastically

eau de parfum

Yesterday was fun. We went skiing. I’m using the term loosley. Overall, I’m pretty happy with the progress I’ve made. I have been skiing a total of 3 times now. So yeah, not very much. We go once a year. And I’m 37. Have I mentioned that I’m not as springy as I used to be? Obviously I’m not on the fast track to the winter Olympics but I am learning.

I was able to get a lesson and practice on the bunny hill. I’m actually pretty good at turns (on gentle slopes) but I kinda sorta freak out when it gets steep. Hence the constant falls. On the bright side I did get the official “pass” from our instructor. Another bright spot is that they have a really nice staff up there. I may have been rescued once or twice. They had a slow day and I’m sure I provided lots of good entertainment for them.  You’re welcome.

My goal was to actually ride the lift and to make it down the hill. Technically, I did do both. Not actually on my own but hey, baby steps. Falling and making a fool of myself aside, I truly love skiing. I love the mountains and the fresh air and the beauty of it all. I love the energy and the complete vulnerability of going headlong down a snowy slope. Mostly, I love feeling completely alive. Wind, cold and all. I.am.alive.

Also, riding that lift up and up and up is about the most peaceful thing a being can do.  You know that lull you feel floating on the river?  The smoldering captivation of a campfire that you can’t look away from?  Yeah, it’s that but with snow.

And to be honest, the looking foolish part wasn’t really that bad. I realized that I am a stubbornly proud person (something I actually already knew but passionately hate to admit) and that there are a lot of kind people who get that. I was thankful that God allowed me a humbling experience and yet to maintain a bit of dignity. One more flaw that was so plainly pointed out…*sigh*. Well, pride certainly does go before the fall! Or maybe with the fall in my case.

 

And so I leave you with this:


“Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.” – Winston Churchill


“In life, the question is not if you will have problems, but how you are going to deal with your problems. If the possibility of failure were erased, what would you attempt to achieve? –  John Maxwell from Failing Forward


“To be good at anything you have to first be comfortable with failure” – My College Math Professor

 

“Go ahead, venture out and make a few mistakes.  This life won’t wait for you to get it all figured out.” – Veronica Henneke

 


 

 

Being Mama, Life

The Storyteller In All Of Us

“Tell me a story,

Tell me a story,

Tell me a story and then I’ll go to bed.

You promised me,

You said you would,

You better give in,

‘Cause I’ve been good.

Tell me a story and then I’ll go to bed.” – Raffi

I have found that we all tell stories even if some of us do it unconsciously.  We have all heard the child who in excruciating detail gives this mother the account of his recent bruise or scrape.  How about the mother of a newborn relating the latest development of her little darling.  Maybe the guy who has just bought a sweet new ride. Oh yeah, we’ve heard some of those!  Is granny giving you the rundown on her recent surgery or maybe it’s couponing bragging rights that have their moment of glory.

Whatever the topic I think we can all say we have been the story teller a time or two in our lives.  It’s a human thing- we want to share the details and have our friends in rapt attention for our little moment. It’s also a heritage.  Long before the written word oral stories kept traditions and cultures alive.  We have a sense of belonging when our stories are listened to and passed on.

What's in a Story

 

My pastor tells stories as he preaches and I love to listen to them.  He says that Jesus told stories (parables) and it worked pretty well for Him!  I have to agree.  I always have fun at church when he is preaching.

I began telling stories to my children whenever we were out without a book and they needed a quiet moment.  It’s strange that I never considered it a thing – it was just natural.  We are a TV free family and that can pose some challenges on the entertainment front.  We cannot pack a library when we travel and when the kids were small no audio book was going to hold their attention.  I became the master of voice inflection, turning myself into a crotchety old woman or a chattering blue bird who sang as he flew.  We had one infamous story about a dog who blew bubbles out the wrong end.  If I can remember it all I will write it down for you.  It was highly requested during the early school age years.  Another one told the tale of a wayward elderly couple setting off on vacation only to misunderstand their way across America one speed bump at a time.  Again, if I could only remember it all!

When I was in grade school a principal of a neighboring school would take a day to tour around the area and tell stories.  He was a master! Old Russian folktales of houses with chicken feet sprang to live in my over active little mind.  I cannot tell you very much about the man himself.  It was as if he became a completely different person as he wove his tale.  He disappeared and only the story remained.  I remember being in complete awe and not being able to say a word when he got ready to leave our classroom.  My little brain couldn’t separate the man from the story and it jarred my senses to realize that it was all just fancy words floating through the air and that this was just a regular guy walking out to his car to go tell another batch of third graders another whopper.

I have made about a million goals for myself this year as I always do but I very much hope to capture a few stories in the near future.  I love to tell them and have the words float away but I’d like to nail them down now and then too.  How about you?  Do you have story waiting to be told?

Life

 

Today is Monday. It’s one of the Mondayest Mondays I’ve ever seen.  We have two birthdays in two days this week.  My mom came over to hang out on our double birthday weekend and she just left yesterday.  There is nothing like the Monday after your mom leaves. Anyhow, I thought I would get myself organized for the week and do my menu and grocery shopping as well as preparing for birthday number two this evening.

Off we schlep on this blustery February day to the grocery store.  The snow was flying sideways a bit but we are used to such weather.  I cruised the aisles and filled my cart and greeted fellow errand runners. On Mondays I truly enjoy the comradery of a community about their daily business. Not so much on other days when I am playing chaufer.

We arrived at the checkout and sorted things according to where their permanent homes would be (pantry, freezer, fridge) and they were bundled up and in the cart.  One small problem occurred as I put that tiny chip into the card reader.  Did you know that banks are closed on President’s day?  Did you know that today is President’s day?  Did you also know that if your payday is normally right around today that you may experience a small delay in the disbursement of funds due to the aforementioned holiday?  Apparently this was new information that failed to make it into my calculations.  So, yeah….nothing like speed dialing your husband 5 million times in the checkout line.  It makes your Monday so much more Mondayish.

On the upside, my dear friend gave me a Starbucks gift card for my birthday (yesterday) so I had the perfect antidote.  Aaahhh….one more birthday to go then we can bring on a Tuesday!

Uncategorized

The Little Things

I woke up to a beautiful valentine card waiting for me. I have no idea when my husband slipped it into a place I would see it but he did.

We had hoped for a weekend away. We haven’t been able to do that for a while. Its on the someday list to take an Alaskan cruise. We are hopeful that it will actually happen too!

For now, we have each other and our kids and our home and that’s enough. Sometimes we don’t get the big things but there are always the little things to be thankful for. When you really think about it, those little things aren’t little at all

Happy Sweethearts Day!

Love, Marriage

Goin’ Courtin’

Well, today is the eve of my Valentine anniversary.  It’s been 17 whole years.  There have been days that have flown by and days when I felt every second of those years and then some.  In honor of marriage and all things love I wanted to share my little love story with you all.   Hearing about others courtin’ days brings me back a bit of my own and I hope you find yourself with a little love light burning. (I’m sappy and I make no apologies)

Well, to be fair it was the modern age that brought us together.  We met online.  I know, I know, if I was my kid I would have smacked the tar out of me too. But I was a college student at the time and somewhat out of the parental jurisdiction. So here I was dating an older man and a terrible commitment-phobe too.  Well, he persisted in his pursuit of me and I think he eventually wore me down.  Romantic, right?

Through our dating years months I was forever wavering between living the single life and being free or actually letting someone have my heart.  Both were equally scary to me.  Both had risks and chances to take. But then there was this man.  A man who let me decide when I was ready.  A man that was gracious to me and never pressured me.  I felt safe and cared for when he was around. I am happy to say that I took a chance on him.  I tried to tell him what he was getting upfront with me but he just wouldn’t listen.  I warned him.

Our first meeting was a couple of days after our first conversation.  He drove 2 hours to meet me IN HIS OWN CAR.  Very important detail for college students.  Anyhow, I thought he was nice but a major hick.  He was and still is and I love him so much for always being exactly himself.  At this time in my life I was looking to the bigger brighter things that the world held and I did not like anything that reminded me of the small country town that I called home.  I was going to reach those stars by golly!

So off we went on our first date.  Here’s a little tip.  Don’t go watch the saddest prison drama ever written that is a FULL 3 HOURS LONG on your first date.  It’s pretty awkward. But we made it through.  Thank goodness theaters are dark and I can sniffle pretty quietly.  You try invisible crying in front of a stranger for 3 FULL HOURS!  As you can see, blogging isn’t my only skill set 😉

So then we were off muddling though dating one awkward moment after another.  In the midst of that he taught me how to drive on the freeway and I taught him that girls are a lot of upkeep.  Basically.

After about 6 months of this nonsense we got engaged and then only 1 year and 2 weeks from the day we met we said I do.  It was awesome! And I ended up in the ER.  Loss of fluids.  Don’t ask. But when I came to I saw my new groom had never left my side.  He hauled his barfing bride in and slept by her with the possessive nature of a new groom.

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Us in our natural habitat

We ended up moving out of Tacoma and back to my hometown to attend Community College.  So much for city lights!  I lasted less than 1 year as a city slicker.  I just didn’t have it in me.  After our first 8 months as husband and wife we had a new joy to look forward to.  Our son was born the following year.

As the years rolled on and the jobs and houses changed we added two daughters to our family.  Now we have  a farm and animals that extend our fur baby tribe even further. As I look back through the years I can honestly say there were times I didn’t know how we would make it.  Physically, financially and even as a married couple.  Things just get tough sometimes.  But through it all God has been good to us.  Mistakes have been made and heartaches have happened and still God makes room for so much joy and blessing.  Matthew, you are one of the greatest blessings that God has ever given this world.  I love you.

Uncategorized

My Country Tis of Thee

Today was mostly claimed by a sneaky migraine so I was feeling less than perky. Ugh! But as I was getting ready to leave school today I saw the flag flying out front. It’s there everyday. I usually don’t even notice. So common place a thing that it is easy to miss. But today we had exchange students that came to talk to our students. They told us about themselves and their countries.

I thought, with all the craziness in our world these kids came here anyway. America can’t all bad if we are still attracting customers!

Well, I guess it just hit me today as it sometimes does. I’m still proud. I’m still thankful. Some of my very favorite people were willing to risk their lives for that bit of fabric. The weight of that sacrfice is not lost on me.

God Bless America

All the best,

Veronica

Food, Frugal

My Grocery Strategy

My grocery strategy

Today I’m going to share my grocery budget tips! I LOVE saving a bit of $ wherever I can and here’s what I found works for me. I’m pretty fussy about doing things how it works best for me. I have tried other methods but I can’t make them stick. One thing I forgot to mention in the video is to use cash whenever possible! This makes my budget so much more real to me. I know, I’m weird but I’m saving money so it’s all good!

 

 

Coffee, Life, Random

Forever Creating

Aaahhh, to have an idea fully formed and nailed down onto paper in its complete form! Yes! So often I have ideas and thoughts that float into my mind just to dance straight out again. But to grab those little sprites and make them mind is a trick I tell you! The other day we were telling stories like we do and I managed to tackle one and drag one in its entirety onto paper. It.was.gratifying.

I am forever thankful for what I have gained through blogging. Just having a place to put ideas (where I cannot lose them) has freed my brain of the struggle in trying to hold it all in there. I can start a new post anytime! I can save it until I’m ready and refine it until I’m happy with it and it’s saved FOR.EV.ER. I can’t lose it. It’s a beautiful thing!

What makes your heart sing?

Being Mama, Life

Monkey See, Monkey Do

The other day my little monkey surprised me. She sees me at the computer a lot. Research, homework helps, Googling anything I need or finding info on my latest project. She has taken to playing with the keyboard and pretending to “work” but the other day she wanted so badly to truly help me.

Girl 2 :”Mama, what’s your theme this week?”

Me: *distractedly making dinner* “Hmm?”

Girl 2 – *heavy sigh* “You know, your bus theme Mom. What are you going to teach? I want to look up your scriptures!”

(Insert pretty pleases and adorable smiles)

Me: *finally paying attention *….”You what?”

Girl 2: *getting impatient* “Mom! You know! What do you want me to look up for your bus lesson this week?”

Me:*crying/cheering a little inside* “Forgiveness honey, look up fogiveness.”

Aaagh! When did this happen? How did this being come to exist? She has followed my every move and knew my routine as if I had written her a schedule. Oh my, mamas! I almost missed the beauty of this moment! My baby doing a Bible search. For me. Wow!

How this girl copies me. How she loves that her mama is a teacher and planner. God help me to see these moments more clearly and to savor them. My dear sweet child, pray for your mama to be a good pattern for you to follow.

With love,

Veronica

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Here are a few of the reasons I am a mess Sunday mornings (and have lost a little hearing)

DIY

New Look

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Happy Saturday!

I have been messing around with themes and graphics last night and this morning.  It’s been fun but oh my! I think my eyes have been over dazzled with options.  Pardon the changes as I fiddle around!

We are fine honing our budget a bit more and I will share all of that later on.  For now, I think I’ll just sit back and enjoy this image.  Aahhh, one thing done and a million more to go! Hope you are enjoying a productive day (or just enjoying a nice relaxing one!)