A Special Day

Fifty-six years ago, our world was given an amazing gift. That was the day my husband was born. There are so many things I adore about this man, and I’m ever so thankful we are journeying through the adventures of this life together.

One of the greatest delights in my existence is opening my eyes every morning, looking at Chris, and seeing him grin at me. It’s the simple little pleasures, you know?

Anyway, here are some of my favorite photos of him from this past year. The images in no way delve into the true reality of his amazingness, but in them you can get a glimpse of fun and serious sides of this man I love.

A Diverse December

A Diverse December

December is a funky month, full of highs and lows. Perhaps for everyone, and certainly for Chris and me. And this year it seemed particularly diverse in emotions.

In December I:

  • Celebrated exciting life milestones.
  • Mourned for people no longer breathing in our earthly sphere.
  • Re-learned lessons I should have known and came pretty close to burn-out in work.
  • Took some time away from work/computers (hence the lack of blog posts this past month).
  • Relished in some slope therapy.
  • Celebrated a birthday, Christmas, a 27th-year-wedding anniversary with the yin to my yang (and vice versa) and New Year’s Eve. All very simple celebrations, but beautiful–with people who love me and who I love.
  • Felt lost in my own existence.
  • Started finding myself again.

At the end of November, I would not have predicted that December was going to hit so hard. In retrospect, I’m still not sure how or why it did. Perhaps it was because there were no kids in the house, and life was otherwise pretty stable. That gave me time to think about things a bit deeper.

All I can say is that it was a month lived. Highs, lows — that’s how it goes.

Here are some of the month’s highlights:

Embrace who you are and your divine purpose. Identify the barriers in your life, and develop discipline, courage and the strength to permanently move beyond them, and keep moving forward.

Germany Kent

Highlighted Blog #14 – Pyjammy dot Blog

Oh my goodness. Sometimes you just need to laugh, and that’s what Pam’s blog does for me. She is just so real!!! A mother of triplets and a colleague of mine, Pam never runs out of interesting observations on life. Day to day stuff she comments on. Kids, dogs, sewing, family, friends — she covers it all. She dares to say what some of us might just think, and with such forthrightness and wit, one can only admire.


* For the month of November (the month of Thanksgiving in the United States), I’m sharing  writing from some of the blogs I’m thankful for. If you want thankful posts from my own personal day-to-day stuff, check out my Inspired By and Thankful For blog.

Highlighted Blog #13 – Foodie With Family

This woman sometimes makes me think I can cook. I lie not. With a few ingredients, a touch of time, and a dash of humor, we’re off and running into another salivation-worthy adventure.

Maybe I also feel a connection because the Foodie With Family author is a mother of sons. Love how her own son helped her with the video for Baked Potatoes 🙂 .

* For the month of November (the month of Thanksgiving in the United States), I’m sharing  writing from some of the blogs I’m thankful for. If you want thankful posts from my own personal day-to-day stuff, check out my Inspired By and Thankful For blog.

Highlighted Blog #12 – Christopher Pollock Art

Okay, so this one is super slanted since the author hasn’t updated in absolutely forever. But I can’t help but love it since it’s my husband’s site, and I have an inside scoop into posts that might be showing up eventually 😉

This one has some color. So far there has been only one of this kind. It sold very fast. I probably should make more! It is painted sheet metal and wire.
via Colored Circles on Wavy Base Mobile —

* For the month of November (the month of Thanksgiving in the United States), I’m sharing  writing from some of the blogs I’m thankful for. If you want thankful posts from my own personal day-to-day stuff, check out my Inspired By and Thankful For blog.

Quote

Highlighted Blog #3 — Mehrling Muse

My aunt is one of my favorite writers of all time so reading her work is always a treat. I’m soooo thankful she got into blogging so we can share her world. In her blog, she takes everyday happenings and invites the reader become part of the scene via her natural and humorous flow of words.

I was surprised a man approached me near the cafe as he walked in for breakfast. I recognized him as the one who took over the iron-worker’s shed halfway up the steep hill. In the past few weeks, he greeted John and me with several sentences of a Southerner’s standard greeting as we walked past. […]

via Advice to this Walker — Mehrling Muse

* For the month of November (the month of Thanksgiving in the United States), I’m sharing  writing from some of the blogs I’m thankful for. If you want thankful posts from my own personal day-to-day stuff, check out my Inspired By and Thankful For blog.

Layover Time in Life

Chris and Mom conversing over lunch

All I wanted was to talk to someone in full sentences. I remember that feeling well from my years as a stay-at-home mom with a toddler. When my husband came home from work I greeted him with a torrent of babble that didn’t take into his account his tired state of mind after a long day of interacting with others.

It wasn’t good for the marriage, and one day he verbalized that and asked for just 15-30 minutes of time before we started discussing our days. He was right, and I found that when I waited just a short bit, he actually listened to me a lot better.

Fast forward 24-25 years since those toddler days, and I’m struggling to find a balance of work/home life. I spend a full workday answering questions, researching, troubleshooting and testing WordPress issues, and by the end of the day my brain is often fried. Ironically, it’s a struggle to string a sentence (oh, how times have changed).

This state of mind is not ideal when your mother-in-law has a Jeopardy addiction and likes to watch it with people. Or when Chris wants to discuss things with me. It sometimes literally gives me a headache having to think and answer more questions and to focus. But I know it’s really important to engage actively with my loved ones and put my workday behind me.

I discussed this with my job coach, who travels internationally using her talents as a certified conflict mediator and coach to work through some pretty intense situations. She had some good advice on figuring out this balance.

balance GIF

The Layover

In her own training, she and others are advised to extend layovers while traveling so one doesn’t go home immediately after working through tough situations elsewhere. Take a few days. Regroup. Transition from the task you completed to your life ahead. This is something I can do on a small scale in my daily life.

As I looked at my daily schedules, I began to do some adjusting. Again I’m super thankful for a job that allows me to tweak. We can choose what hours we want to work here at Automattic, so I work four ten-hour days. This gives me time to travel, run errands with Mom and Chris and catch up on life in general on my three flex days.

In addition to that, I shuffled things around so my workdays end an hour before Jeopardy. This gives me an hour “layover” for some “me” time. During that hour I embrace tasks such as exercising, journaling, doing my Bible study and blogging.

In retrospect it’s quite similar to what Chris and I did back in the day. I just needed a reminder, I guess. The great news is that it’s working. I feel much more balanced, and I feel I’m able to provide a higher quality of engagement with the people with whom I’m connecting.

If you are struggling to find a life balance and constantly feel overwhelmed, I highly recommend this Layover strategy. It’s a winner in my book.

A Quarter Century With CJ

Today we celebrate 25 years of a beautiful addition to our planet. Doctors told us it wouldn’t happen, and if a child were to come into our existence, there could be major complications. Yet 25 years ago, on a beautiful Saturday morning, a healthy CJ entered the world, to our delight.

You know those Hallmark moments where the parents gaze in awe at their perfect newborn child? That didn’t totally happen. After hours of back labor and some complications that were a bit intimidating, CJ entered the world. We turned exhausted eyes to our newborn progeny and watched as he opened one eye as if he didn’t care enough to open two eyes, then gave us the bird.

What a way to enter the world.

Now that we have gotten to know him, we realize the one-eye thing was probably due to the fact that it was morning, and he wasn’t quite ready to wake up. The bird? Well, even now I would say that was a bit out of character for him, but it made quite the initial impression.

When a parent things holds a child in their arms, there is a dream that develops. For me, it was to rear a child who could stand on his own taking on whatever life threw at him and contributing back in a positive manner.

CJ, you have far exceeded our hopes for this. Not only do you take on the world comfortably, but you you inspire us with your passion for faith, family and dreams as you pursue your world in music and tech. We are so proud of you and love you so much.

Happy 25!