Friday, September 12, 2008

A Basket Full of Goodies

I realize I haven’t been doing a really good job of posting regularly, or uh…at all, really. I realize that those of you who used to consider yourselves my “regular” readers (all three or four of you) are probably feeling quite neglected and abandoned. I realize everyone else probably didn’t even notice I was MIA…well FINE! ;-) But seriously, I hate that I’ve been such an inconsistent blogger lately, and am hoping to turn things around. See, life has gotten incredibly busy these last few months, so the “real world” if that’s what we’re calling it these days, has pulled me away from the blogosphere. But, I LOVE the blogosphere, and as much as I haven’t had time to visit, I’ve been missing it dearly.

Not only do I miss regularly updating you on the shenanigans of my OH SO EXCITING (don’t laugh) life, I REALLY miss reading about all your adventures and misadventures. My google reader is up to oh geez, probably 500 or 600 posts, so when in the world I think I’ll find the time to catch up is beyond me, but I refuse to clear it out and start from scratch. What if I miss something vital? One of these days, I promise, I will catch up.

In the meantime, I’m going to ask you to leave me a comment directing me to one or two of your most recent posts that I just MUST read. Pretty please? I really want to know.

So, now that we’ve covered my catching up with YOU, here’s a bit of what’s been going on with me. And there’s a lot folks. I warn you now, this is a long post, but hey, you’ve had barely any reading material from me all summer, so maybe you’ll enjoy my ramblings.

First of all, starting next week I’m embarking on a new writing venture. Because this is such a huge thing for me, one that I’m incredibly excited about, I’m going to save the details of the announcement for its very own post in the next few days. However, because I don’t want to be a terrible tease, I’ll share with you that I’ve been asked (uh, maybe I volunteered myself) to contribute to a wonderful Ezine called Blissfully Domestic as part of their “Inspired Bliss” channel, which is their faith channel. Yes, I know, funny how things happen, right? But because of this, I’m making some new blog-buddies, and want to take a moment to say HELLO to them. Can’t wait to get inspired by you ladies! If you stopped by today, I hope you’ll poke around to get to know a little more about me, but for purposes of knowing why I’m joining you, the next few paragraphs, and links therein, should give you an idea. The rest is just my crazy mind at work.

Moving on then, we’ve already discussed the amazing summer I’ve had reconnecting with God, my faith family, and the youth of my parish. As things move along in that field, I’ll give you more of that story, but for now, you can read this (if you haven’t had the chance to do so yet), and just know that I’m still the same snarky, sarcastic, and shoe addicted Karina, I just have a greater sense of my place in this world now. It feels nice. And in case you are wondering, the tattoo is healing quite nicely as well.

The summer is now drawing to a close and you would think that would mean that I’d have less activities planned with the youth and all, and get back some of my free time. You would think wrong. The Fall and Winter are going to be just as, if not even more, busy as the summer was, but this is a good thing. I’m looking forward to all that is lined up for the next few months.

Another major change in my life has been this career move of mine, and with the exception of a few posts to tell you about my new job, I haven’t really told you much about how that has gone. Let me tell you now. I LOVE my new job. LOVE IT. I went from a stressful, pull my hair out of my head every day, holy crap how in the world am I ever going to catch up with any of my work, and I’m going to kill my coworkers one of these days, kind of job, to well…how do I even describe it? Some days, I’m bored with nothing to do. GASP! I KNOW! My new boss, The Don, is fantastic. He’s a great guy, with a heart of gold, and the type of boss everyone always wishes they could have. My new company is wonderful. They truly care about their employees and their customers, and I feel good about working here, and it’s the kind of place you want to promote to your friends and family, because they really stand for something. My new coworkers are all great, and I’ve made some new friends, and am looking forward to things like the holiday party, because I can see it’ll be a blast. And the job itself is easy. I have great freedom to my days to do my work at my own pace, without anyone (see Nazi) breathing down my neck, there are NO MORE Whisper Wednesdays, and there are plenty of opportunities for me to step up and be challenged when I want to be. There is also great room for growth here, so while I’m okay with the laid back pace for now, I know when I start to feel stagnant, I can step up to the plate and take on new ventures.

I also love the location of where I work. Working in the historical downtown area of my home town has been great fun this summer. I’ve been able to reconnect with old friends for lunch, enjoy daily walks, and just see other people out and about, something I, as an avid people watcher, was really missing in my old job in the boonies.

The downside to this working environment has been that going out to eat lunch every day (practically) made me gain quite a few pounds. I was pretty busy and active all summer long with the youth, so it wasn’t as bad as it could have been, but still, it was getting to the point where I knew I had to do something about it.

SO, a few weeks ago I joined Jenny Craig. I went with Candid Mama as moral support, but after listening to their introduction (uh, sales pitch) I decided to give it a shot as well. I signed up for a 6 week trial, and am now on week 3. I’ve lost 5 ½ pounds in my first two weeks so far. Considering I’m not working out, am not feeling particularly hungry at any time, and actually enjoy the food, I’d say this is a success. My goal is 20 lbs so hey, I’m a quarter of the way there…that’s not too bad. The best part is I’m learning some really easy and manageable ways to keep this going once my six week trial is up. It’s been an amazing boost to my confidence to see the weight go too. It’s slow, but healthy the way it is going, and I love that I’m taking charge of my body. And yes, I do feel healthier; it’s amazing how what we put in our bodies can totally affect how we feel isn’t it? Yeah, yeah, I know old news.

Speaking of a confidence booster, I bought a product off an infomercial that changed my life. No, seriously. I’m not getting paid to say this (but really, they should pay me for all the publicity I’ve done for their product), but I am in LOVE with the Wen by Chaz Dean hair stuff. You may not know this, but my hair has been complete crap for years now. I had some stuff going on a few years back, and my hair which has always been really thin, just became crap, and for a while now I’ve pretty much always worn it up, sort of hidden and kind of “out of sight, out of mind”. I HATED my hair. I wouldn’t even get it cut, because there was no point. I have tried every hair product known to womankind and nothing worked to fix it. So, one day, while cleaning my house with the television on for background noise, this infomercial came on. Now, for the record, I don’t buy things off infomercials, pretty much ever. I don’t buy into the whole “this will change your life” thing, EVER. But, since I was already spending all sorts of money weekly on trying new hair products, to no avail, when I heard the words “Just one use of this product and you won’t believe the change in your hair”, right after I said “yeah, right” I said “Well, whatever, what have I got to lose?” So, I ordered it. With much dubiousness, when it arrived, I tried it.

And HOLY CRAP if my hair wasn’t completely different after just one use. That stuff really works. I’ve now been using it for about a month, and LOVE my hair. I wear it down most days now. I get compliments on my hair from strangers. MY HAIR! The rats nest I kept hidden for years. LOVE IT. Huge confidence booster right there as well.

One more vital thing I changed this summer. You all know I’m a big sister through Big Brother Big Sister to Lil’K. Have been since she was 8 years old. She is now 15. For the last year or so, we’d drifted apart. I was having a hard time finding ways to connect with her. I was looking at her as a teen who didn’t much need me in her life anymore, and I wasn’t sure how to stay involved in her life. Part of me wasn’t sure I needed to anymore. I never had any plans of walking away, but it was getting easy to just not call her for weeks and blame it on the fact that we were both busy with our lives, and she was doing just fine without me. But I was wrong, because now, more than ever, she needs me. Now, more than ever, she needs some positive influences in her life. Now, at a time when every decision she makes could truly affect the future of her life. Because of the youth group activities this summer, I was able to find a common ground with her, and we spent a summer having a great time together, and getting closer. This weekend we take another step in our relationship, which I am hoping will open all sorts of new doors for our communication as she faces what will surely be the toughest years of her young life. We are attending a “parent/teen” retreat. I have always been a parental figure in her life, and it’s time I take a more active role, so I’m looking forward to this retreat like you can’t imagine. It was time I stepped back in and took charge a bit, because last year was a rough year for her, and I wasn’t a very present figure. I blame myself for that, I’d become complacent in a lot of things in my life.

See, here’s the funny thing that happened this summer. Somewhere along the way I realized I’d been just going through the motions of daily living. It wasn’t that my life wasn’t a good one, it was just that I wasn’t exactly doing much of anything. I looked back at the last few years, and pleasant and peaceful as they’ve been, I had a hard time differentiating one from the other. I’m 33 years old. That’s way too young to settle for status quo. It was time for me to stop living on the sidelines, and take an active role in my life. It wasn’t enough to be living, I need to be ALIVE. I’ve done things this summer that I swore you’d never see me do. I went canoeing. I’m deathly afraid of drowning folks. It was exhilarating in a terrifying sort of way, I loved it. I got on a roller coaster. The kind that turns you upside down. Ladies and gents, I DON’T DO THAT. Correction, I didn’t do that, because now? OH, I can’t wait for the next one. I’m doing it folks, I’m doing it all.

Next adventure? Hmm, maybe I’ll try my hand at dating again, what do you think? After all, we can’t let my fabulous new hair and soon to be svelte figure go to waste, now can we? Right..yeah, okay…


Jeni said...

Well, hello! Nice of you to introduce yourself!! I haven't written anything special to introduce myself to all the IB crew, but if you want to know a bit about me, read this:

I look forward to working with you! :-)

Kathleen said...

Hey Karina! Glad to hear things are going better for you. It's sounds like you're getting your life together. I look forward to following your blog again. Congrats on the new position at IB.

A Spot of T said...

Love love LOVE how great life is going for you!! Blog a little, blog a lot....I'll always be here :o)

Jill said...

well i'm not sure if you even run over and read my blog or not, but here's the scoop at the mousehouse eh hm: almost 8 months pregnant, healthy as far as we know, husband got a new 'dream' job 6 hours away, which makes it 2 hours closer to family, and lots of hours south, so hopefully less bad weather. looking for a house and new doctor, moving in around a month. probably to a new state for the 3rd time in as many years. life is crazy.

Julia Phillips Smith said...

I've got lots of ballet over at my blog today - and one of the dancers is named Karina, and she's from Argentina.

I love how things are going for you! I hope the retreat goes well for the both of you - I know it will for you. Life for me is wonderful. My change in status to permanent at work has made the whole world shiny and new.

Pamela said...

good for you girl! So proud of you.
(hey.. do you remember me telling you that you should look at loosing that job as a promotion? You don't. OH well, never mind. ha ha )

I don't think you've missed much over at the dust, by the way.

Rebecca said...

Wow, this is a long post, so I'm commenting as I read, lest I forget something.... and it'll be a long comment :-)

1. I totally suck because it's been so long since I've come around - I'm sorry! You've already commented on a couple of my MUST READ posts... I know, all TWO of them because my summer's just been that exciting. Oh, but you did miss reading about me getting full on fondled by a mall employee :-0

2. WHHoooOHHHoOooo!! Congratulations on your new writing venture!! I think it's exciting, will you post links to your articles for us loyal readers?

3. It's okay to be snarky and Christian. Don't let the stereotypes put you into a box because most stereotypes regardng Christians are FALSE. Be proud of who you are, you should only care about two opinions, yours and Gods.

4. You got a tattoo? When do we get to see a picture? How did I miss this? What is it of? Where is it? ...unless I don't want to know where it is ;-0

5. WhoooHooo for still being happy at your job, it sounds like you made a very smart career decision there! :)

6. I look forward to reading about your retreat with Lil'K, that sounds exciting! :0

7. Finally: WWHWHHHHHOOOOOooooOOHHHHOOOOOOOO for life and enjoying it while we can! There's so much I want to do and I feel like time is passing away faster than I can fathom.