Monday, January 30, 2012

mourning the loss of my wedding ring

If you know me well, you know I love my wedding ring. LOVE it. You see, when Christian and I were talking about getting married, I had all kinds of ideas about what kind of wedding ring I wanted. I'm a simple kind of girl, so I had my eye on a few simple styles. One day Christian called and said he had found a ring he thought I'd like. (He knows I'm a practical person who wouldn't want to be surprised with a wedding ring I'd never seen.) Actually, he was out with Veronica, Kristen, and Lenessa, and I think they actually saw it first. He described it on the phone and it didn't sound like anything I'd been looking at, but I figured I'd take a look anyway.

The minute I saw the ring in person I loved it. It was perfect for me. I don't believe in love at first sight in general, but I believe in it when it comes to this ring.

For the last 8 years, I've loved it. I've had many-a-conversation about how I would never get a "ring upgrade." Christian periodically makes teasing comments about how I wanted a bigger ring (in fact, he said it again just the other night), but I always scowl at him and tell him not to diss my ring. I love my ring.

And now we can't find it. And I'm sad.

It has been missing for over a month now. Last time I saw it was at my parents' house for Christmas, and I distinctly remember looking at it hanging on the bedside lamp while I was getting our stuff ready to go home and thinking, "I need to put that on." Only that's where my memory fails. I can't remember if I actually put it on in that moment or didn't. And I haven't seen it since.

Do you know what? You know that whole "ring upgrade" thing? Well this is the moment of truth.

And the verdict is in. If I never find my ring, I want to replace it with... exact copy.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

unsettled and obsessive

Modeling my new shirt that I made from $1 worth of fabric from FabMo.
Lately I've been reading up on my personality type. It all stemmed from a lovely date night at the Cheesecake Factory with Erica and Alan (Thank you, Secret Santa!). We were talking about our zodiac signs, about which I know nothing. Erica looked up the descriptions on her phone. She and Alan are cancers and fit the description to a tee. I'm a Libra and seemed to fit mine quite well, too. Christian is a scorpio and the description didn't really fit him at all. So I turned to good old Myers-Briggs. Besides, being the logical of logicals, I find it hard to believe that people born under the same moon are lumped together. Where's the science behind that?

Anyway, my Myers-Briggs type is ESFJ (which I can't remember for the life of me). It's almost scary how well the type description describes me. I'm a guardian provider. I want to make sure everyone is happy, that conflict is resolved, able to speak publicly with ease, friendly, outgoing, easily offended by indifference, cherish family traditions, sensitive to the feelings of others, practical, like to talk and give my opinion too much, organized, teacher. This is me--to a fault. (ESFJs make up about 13% of the population.)

So the whole point of this post is to talk about one big part of the ESFJ: I thrive on resolution. If it's not settled, I'm unsettled. I want to be sure people understand what I've tried to convey. I left a comment on a blog just before doing yoga this morning, then realized after my shower that it didn't say everything I wanted to, so I added a quick addendum as I ran out the door, but realized in the car that I still hadn't said what I needed to. It was unresolved. I kept going over it in my head. Did everyone understand what I meant? Are we all on the same page? I need to go back and clarify! It needs to be clear!

It took everything in me not to go back and post more. Seriously--I already had left 3 comments. I'd look like I was obsessed with the blog. In reality, I'm obsessed with whether what I write is clear, not the blog itself. I had to remind myself: Who cares if strangers on a blog misunderstood what I was saying about fashion? (Speaking of fashion, don't you love my new shirt? Being broke doesn't mean I can't have cute clothes!) Really. Who cares? So I exercised restraint. It took me hours to be okay with not going back and posting more.

This is my life. If it's unresolved, I can't think about anything else. I need resolution. I need clarity. This drives me insane, and it probably drives everyone I know insane, too. But I'm exercising restraint. You won't get the best of me, ESFJ! I'm in charge here! I own you!

(On a completely unrelated note, I may or may not have gone back and added more comments after I wrote this post...)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

2012 Goals

Here are my goals for 2012:

  1. Beat my brother in this competition. Actually, Tyler isn't even part of the competition. (Lucky for everyone involved, too. Tyler doesn't lose competitions. Case in point: He took laxatives to win the weight loss competition at his work, and he was probably the only one in the competition who didn't even need to lose weight.) I entered the original competition knowing full well that I couldn't win. Points for hours of exercise? I can't spend 3 hours at the gym. I can't even fit one full hour of exercise into my day. And there are girls in the competition who are breastfeeding and shedding baby weight like there's no tomorrow. I can't compete with that. So I'm in it solely for the trash talking and motivation to work out. But Tyler and I have a competition going on the side, and it's a fixed number of pounds. First one there wins. I've considered lying to him about my weight loss along the way and then one day BAM--I WIN! Alas, I am incapable of lying.
  2. Post more pictures of myself on my blog. How's that for narcissistic? (Man, that word is so fun to say.) Actually, I've noticed that I love reading the blogs of my friends who post pictures of themselves often. I keep in touch with many people via blogs. If I can't see them in person, it's at least nice to see their face when I'm reading their words.
  3. Run a race. And make it a good one. It seems practically no one wants to run The Relay with us. Everyone seems to be on "Team Ragnar." Well this girl is on "Team Relay." It's war. If you could have wine country AND the Golden Gate Bridge AND the Santa Cruz Mountains AND a finish on the beach, why would you settle for only the first two? I mean, who would pick a pastey vampire over a hunky werewolf? (Back up races: RunSFM, a Pacific Coast Trail Run, or a triathlon.)
  4. Send letters in the mail. This is actually already on my weekly to-do list (slated for Sundays) but it never gets to-done. Don't you love getting real letters and cards in the mail? It brightens my day.
  5. Be happy with whatever happens. That's my big goal this year. Be happy no matter what. Because, you know, being happy is a choice. Go read this month's message from the leaders of our church (even if you are not part of our church): . Really. Go read it now. "We can’t direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails... may we a choose positive attitude."
How's that for a hearty list of goals? I think I can accomplish them. (Well, except maybe #1. That guy is serious competition.)

What are your goals for 2012?

Monday, January 9, 2012

on being broke, filing taxes, and running races

I have this spreadsheet. When we get really low on money, I sit down and fill it all in. The spreadsheet would nauseate most people, but I love it. (Except when it causes a panic attack. Then I hate it.)

My spreadsheet projects all our income and expenses for the next 6 months. When we spend money, I enter it in and see how it will affect the balance 6 months down the road. I can see what times of the month it will dip into the negative and adjust accordingly to always keep our account in the positive. So even though it may look like we can afford to go out to dinner this week, that dinner may put us in the negative 3 months down the road. Trust me--I'll know.

We've gone through periods like this before, and it always sucks. While I actually welcome the challenge to be frugal (it's a character trait I'd love to master sometime before I die...), what really sucks is having to constantly tell people you can't afford it.

"I'd love to sign up for that fitness class with you, but it's not in the budget."

"Yes, those pants would look awesome, and they are on sale, but they are still not in the budget."

"We would love to join you for dinner, but it's just not in the budget."

So if I tell you that we don't have enough money for something, please don't think I'm asking for your pity. I'm just being honest. We knew that having Christian work (and consequently paying a babysitter to watch both our boys) would be a huge drain on our finances, but we also knew that the only way to get him to a job that could support us all  was to make that sacrifice and pay our dues (quite literally).

{Dear thieves: Our savings have run out and we are broke. Don't even bother with us. We're not worth your time.}

I've never been a huge shopper. I don't drool over upcoming Nordstrom sales. I don't have a million pair of shoes. We don't belong to a gym. We aren't foodies who spend a ton of money at restaurants or on gourmet cooking ingredients. I'd say the two things I most enjoy spending money on are (1) travel and (2) races. {Correction: I hate paying the race fees, but I love running the races.} It's easy to cut out travel since the $$ adds up fast on any vacation, but races are my goals--my motivation to work out. I'm going through withdrawals, because my last race was in September and I have nothing on the calendar for all of 2012. It's depressing.

However, it is tax season. And that normally means we get a good chunk of money back. I've said it before, and I'll say it again--I don't care if I'm paying the federal government too much money and they are earning interest on it until I get it back when I file my taxes. Trust me--if it had been in my hands, I would have spent it on that fitness class, bought those pants, and gone out to dinner. Then taken a weekend in Tahoe and signed up for a couple races. No, I welcome the forced savings account, especially when we're broke and working hard to make ends meet.

So I'm chomping at the bit to do our taxes. We'll put a chunk in savings, bulk up our bank accounts so I can take my eye off my blasted beloved spreadsheet for a while, and then I'm signing up for this...

I've been wanting to run this race for years, and my wonderful friend Erica is on board with me this year. So I've decided that this is my treat this year. This is my splurge. It's $80/person. Who's with me? Who wants in??