Category Archives: Curiosities

A Reflection in my Rearview Mirror of Blogging

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You and I are Boldly Blessed!

 

 

Eighteen months ago it all started with the following 171-word blog post.

Why boldlyblessed? (My First boldyblessed Blog Post August 10, 2011)

I have spent the last few days taking time to pray on what this verse means to me.

2 Timothy 1:7 God doesn’t want us to be shy with his gifts, but bold and loving and sensible.

This is the 2011 MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) theme verse. It is the first one in 7 years to shake me by the shoulders and demand my attention. Sound violent? Well, just think how I am feeling.

It is violent in a good way! It is one of those perfect storm kind of moments where life experience, leadership possibilities and personality meet. I feel like this one is just me. Hopefully it strikes the same chord with the entire MOPS population.

For me it is giving me permission to be ME. To use my gifts of leadership, experience and ease with others. For years I have unconsciously thought, “oh now Kristin don’t do this or that”. Well that voice needs to be stopped. I am ready to live boldly and help other women to do the same.

 

I had just returned exhausted and exhilarated from the 2011 MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) Convention.  It always is a great weekend break from my mothering reality.  In 2011, I left my three kids for not just a break.  I was in search of a holy time for restoration, retooling and affirmation.

A MOPS Convention is packed with nationally known speakers and authors at general sessions, popular music acts that inspire the crowd with their passion, and small workshops so I can tailor my experience to my needs as a leader, mother and woman.  I have only missed one year.  I still regret not making the choice to invest in myself.  I had thought I was selfish if I went, but it has been years since I missed.  Now I encourage others to not limit themselves.

During this particular convention, I felt an overwhelming desire to be more bold and stop the negative self-talk.  I had mindless conversations playing in my head of why I could or couldn’t do something. The idea of being bold to me made me feel free and empowered.  Each year MOPS has a theme verse and I couldn’t have missed it if I had tried.  The verse for the was shared in many different ways from posters, powerpoint and speakers from the general session stage.  God doesn’t want us to be shy with his gifts, but bold and loving and sensible. (2 Timothy 1:7)  It was a turning point for me.  I deeply felt I had a mission statement for my life.  It still speaks clearly for me to boldly love others with my God-given gifts.

When I got home, my normal life rocked me back into reality.  August is time for back-to-school, MOPS kicking into high gear, and all the routines crashing back into our family calendar.  At that time, I was focused on everyone else.  I still burned with the need to share and encourage others to be bold with me.  I decided to blog, because it is a platform that I could share myself and inspire others.

My first post was 171 words of vulnerability and exhilaration.  My thoughts started living outside my journals and I prayed they would help someone else.  It has been wonderful to have  developed some supporters and I have posted 75 times since I started.  I feel like I have stayed true to my mission statement.  I want to am no longer focused on who reads the posts or how many readers I reach.  I want to continue living in my awareness of being boldly blessed by God and I will blog to reach others who search insight, humor and a woman who is the real deal.

My So Called Pinterest Interest… (Addiction)

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“Well, I have a couple of minutes to see what others are pinning.”

“Oh! I have a _________________________ coming up and I need ideas STAT!”

                       (class party/birthday party/family trip)

“Who has time to find a good blog with a Google search these days?”

“My Pinterest boards are the only thing I can keep organized!”

“It’s mindless like flipping through a magazine.”

I have said or thought all of the above many times.  I love the purpose of Pinterest, but I am becoming less enamored with my interest.  I have more of an addiction.  I have even tried to equate it to fanatic sports fans.  The fans that know every statistic for the past 10+ years.  But I can’t do that any longer.  They have a passion for a sport and the desire to know all they can to create a connection.  I will confess that I have a need to be nosy into other people’s pins and a compulsion to pin things that I don’t even click through the blog it is associated with.  OUCH.  I rarely check out the pin farther than the initial picture.  Who has time for that? 

Photo Credit: Lasso the Moon

       (photo credit: Lasso the Moon)

I do want to declare that I am not opposed to Pinterest at all or your use of it.  I am opposed to mine.  I think I am pinning when I could be learning from those I know in my life or future friends.  Sure, maybe I can search Pinterest for Disney trip tips, but wouldn’t it be better to ask my friend who just went.  I could learn from someone and make a real connection.  I bet they would be happy to help me.  A recent pinning rampage was an overseas trip I am interested in researching.  I immediately started looking at Pinterest and started pinning to a private folder.   I was pinning before it dawned on my that a new neighbor is from that country.  Of course, I should go to her as my expert.  Wouldn’t I rather have her as my guide and connect in real life?  YES!

I have tried to defend my pinning with my desire for research.  For the year I have been on Pinterest, I have been stuck in the R (research) stage of R&D.  Very little has made it to the D (development) stage.  I have probably only made a couple of recipes and tried a few home decor ideas.  So, then why do I have 114 BOARDS?  How did that happen?  And those boards have 2,878 PINS!  How did this happen?  Please tell me I am not alone in this mindless addiction?  Please!

Maybe you are like me and pinning away on your Pinterest app.  Mindlessly pinning away.  I rarely ever log into the Pinterest website, because I find it too overwhelming and cluttered for my taste.  (Hope you can see the irony in this confession!)  It has been 6 months since I have logged onto the Pinterest website.  That is when those statistics burned into my retina and made my heart race.  Shock and dismay rolled over me like soul-searching waves.  I was truly not aware of my dependence on this app.  Immediately I thought I need to start doing and stop pinning.  My research side kicked into gear.  I wanted to know more about where I spend my time and find out what it says about me.  I bet your boards say a lot about you as well.

Sure, a lot of mine are what I have mentioned: party plans, birthdays, and travel.  Many are for this specific phase of my life including parenting, cleaning, and cooking.  But those don’t have high numbers.  I had to find the board with the most.  It would show me my true interest and a reflection of what I want to change the most.  As I scrolled through 114 boards, it jumped out at me and made me loudly laugh in my quiet house.  There it was 1,124 pins in one board.  There they were 1,124 pins of sayings, quotes, and phrases that I resonate with me like a gong.  The board is called, Things for My Wall.  Can you imagine how BIG that wall would have to be to even if the sayings were on sticky notes?

I can’t say for certain, but I am pretty sure that only 3-5% might be duplicates.  I glanced through the entire board and I didn’t see any, which means that I probably have a secondary problem.  I also have Pinning OCD, if I can remember what I haven’t pinned before.  What a waste of my brain!  Einstein would have a hay day with my wasted brain usage.  He believed in not remembering small details you can look up.  “Only put in enough energy and effort so as to pull out of life what really matters, what you really want. Be organized enough that you can find everything you need or want, when you need or want it. But don’t fret over the small stuff. And have a way to be confident you can tell the small stuff from the big stuff,” was Einstein’s advice to be less cluttered.  I need to take this saying from my imaginary wall and keep it close as a mantra.

Einstein or not:: What good is all this inspiration if it is stuck on a make-believe wall on a Pinterest board?

Some that follow my pins might see it when it is initially pinned.  What impact does that make?  They don’t know why I care about those words or why they could too.  Am I alone in wanting to change the world with my pins?  I know that my budget board with 4 pins isn’t where my passion is found or shared.  Something must come from my new awareness and my 1,124 pins of inspiration.

BUT WHAT?

Tell me what do you think I should do?

What Pinterest board do you have the most pins for?


Here is what I have done to change my behavior today with my iPhone! Baby steps!

BEFORE MY BLOG

Before My Blog

AFTER THIS BLOG – Take that Pinterest!

After My Blog

Oh… Pandora

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I was just sitting on my comfy living room couch working along on all my projects and loose ends that need tying up.  To keep myself focused I usually turn on Pandora to the Tina Turner channel.  My Momma didn’t raise no fool.  Song after song is either Tina Turner, someone like her or music from the 80’s and early 90’s.  It is one of my favorite channels because it just makes me happy.  I usually end up singing along.  As I write this Michael Jackson is belting out The Way You Make Me Feel.  Yes, I am signing in my head as I write.

Have you heard the line that music is just a memory?  I’d have to agree.  Earlier a song from 1991 came on and I instantly thought I had climbed into a time machine.  I was transported to my bedroom when I was 15 years old.  I could clearly remember singing into my microphone.  I mean hair brush.  Only one person seemed to understand me at that time, Ms. Whitney Houston.  We would duet together on How Do I know He Loves Me.  I remember begging for my Mom to drive me from our country existence to the mall 30 minutes away to get the single.  Oh, the simple times before iTunes, YouTube, and CDs.  I played that 99 cent cassette single continuously and I still have it.

Every time I hear that song it brings back a flood of memories about the first boy I would talk to on the phone.  Nothing too crazy or wild.  It was huge at the time. I would sneak off and call.  Of course, I thought my parents had no idea.  Except looking back it seemed that they always ended up needing to make a phone call when I was on the house line.  Hmm… that seems fishy now that I have a parental view.  I would die of humiliation when they got on the phone and started dialing a number.  I would get off the phone quickly and turn on that cassette single and sing.  Whitney seemed to be the only one who knew about love, boys and how I was feeling.

I will always know that song word for word.  Those days of teendom are 20+ years ago, but music can make me feel that age all over again.

Tell me one of your “time machine songs.”  I’d love to know!

Ok I have to write for class and possibly clean… hmm probably not the clean.  🙂

Make sure to check out yesterday’s blog post on Lucy and Ethel!!

Blessings,

Kristin

PS – now Whitney Houston’s So Emotional is playing…

Might as well be November 1985…

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For the past week I have been with my sweet family enjoying the sun of Florida. It was a perfect time to get out of our routines and just play. But now that we have been home a couple of days, I can’t stop thinking about last Sunday’s news.
Whitney Houston passed away. Gone too soon. It had happened and I could barely catch the news with 3 kids and a hectic theme park schedule. She would cross my mind and I would look at my husband and he just knew I was heartbroken. I even walked through the airport and got teary eyed at just a glimpse of her service on the tv.

In my heart when I heard the news, it was November 1985. I was 9.5 years old and knew every word of Whitney Houston’s songs. I was thrown back in time. My family lived in the country, so alas no MTV. But I would spend hours listening to her tapes and waiting for her songs on the radio.

I was only 9 and starting to blush when I got teased about boys. I felt that Whitney understood love and life. And especially boys. I would belt so loudly into my hair brush for hours knowing I was her only back-up singer. The entire decade of the 80’s was by her tutelage. Even one of my first real movie dates was The Bodyguard with Kevin Costner.

No matter what the cause of death may be, I know that it will never taint my view of her and her beautiful gift from God. I will choose to remember her with one of my favorite songs from November 1985… (just watched the real video tonight since I missed it years ago). Enjoy!

How will I know if he really loves me??

This post is dedicated to my sweet friends who are also so heartbroken for the loss of this great voice from our childhood.

Dear Local Coca-Cola Distributor,

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Dear Local Coca-Cola Distributor,

I feel should explain your recent drop in sales in the KC Metro area.

It all started innocently enough after college when I started working in the real world for the “man”. I had an early East coast territory and each morning it was a struggle to be chipper, attentive, productive and resilient against the no’s. They started everyday around 7am and that was hard for me. So I medicated. I mean drank the magically caffeinated beverage of Diet Coke. One was never enough, so every few hours I would wander across to the break room with my jingling change. I would feed the magical machine my 50 cents. Ah…I can hear the can dropping down to me still. Then my drawer was soon emptied of coins and then I would scavenge through my car and ask friends if I could borrow from them. Not pretty. I knew I had to do something.

So logically, I started packing in my own 12 pack for the office fridge and I would have extra ones under my cubicle desk. This went on for years. I was kind enough to share from time to time with co-workers and friends. And when we would go out for lunch, I would drain two to three refills of the delicious caramel colored liquid without even thinking about it. Ah… The fizzy bubbles.

Then my life changed almost 10 years ago and the office stash wasn’t needed anymore. I could just load my fridge at home of all the Diet Coke I could afford. I became a stay at home mom. I started operating on sleepless nights and wet kisses. And for the past nine years it would have been scandalous to find no Diet Coke cans in my house. (of course, cans were my delivery mode. The snap and crack of the tab opening and listening for the sound of the fizzy, bubbly goodness… DELISH)

But just recently I have decided I am worth more than what I have been consuming. It just can’t be good to be pouring artificial, yet delicious gunk in me each day. Surely I can kick this habit. I feel like I am over the hardest part and now I have the confidence to walk away. My Dad has a saying that I hear often. It is, “better living through chemistry.” He says in tongue in cheek, because he is sure that we all have gotten into such a made for us kind of world that we are missing the good stuff. I am going to start getting away from this type of living. It can’t be what fuels me anymore.

So dear Local Coca-Cola Distributor please take note. After years of only choosing restaurants if they carried your brand of soft drinks, I am parting ways. There I admit it. Whew.

I am done. I want to stop the damage that I am sure aspartame is wreaking on my joints. I want to be a better role model of health for my 3 sweet children. (if they aren’t allowed sodas…why am I?)

Of course, water will be the best choice for me. And switching hasn’t been too bad. And this change will be a help to our bottom line in two ways.
bottom line #1: financial responsibility
9 years of staying home
x  12 months per year
——
108 months
x  30 days per month
——
3,240 days of staying home
x      2 average Diet Coke consumption per day
——-
6,480 Diet Cokes consumed in 9 years
x. .30 average price per can of a 12 pack at $3.50 at a retailer
——-
$1,944.00 spent on Diet Coke !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

bottom line # 2: my rear
I’m pretty sure that Diet Coke has zero calories, BUT it tastes best with things that are  salty, sugary and juicy, which   have a gazillion calories!!!!!!! Hoping that this helps my overall health and helps me focus on the temple God gave me.

So thank you for your faithful service and stocking of Diet Coke to help fuel my days and wake me up. I no longer will be needing your services.

Looking forward to a soda free me from now on. I am joining my sweet husband in his refusal of sodas in his diet. He gave them up 7 years ago for Lent. Guess it is true that no one can make you change until you are ready. But I am ready now!!!!

Good bye for good.
Kristin Wooldridge
aka Water Woman

A Pawn in the Game of Life

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Ahhh… I love two-year olds.  They are the great ego equalizer.  If you hang out with one for any amount of time you will find out quickly that they feel you are just a pawn in the game of life.

There are different types of two-year olds.  Here are a few:
> Know it alls: these are the kinds that have been talking and asking questions for at least a year and so they assume they know everything
> Lovie Dovies: these are the ones that will smother you with love and need a lot of attention
> Loner: this type rarely wants help and wants to be left to play by themselves.  Do not force sharing with this one!
> Car Salesperson: doesn’t know a stranger and can’t wait to leave you to meet someone new
> The Runner: This child could be a 2-year-old Olympian if there was a contest for fastest speed running into a parking lot.
> Lil’ Teacher: the one that will teach others to do anything and everything
> Boo: the shy ones that jump before you say a thing
> Too cute for their own good: This one can bat their eyelashes, give wet kisses, and laugh endlessly even at themselves to the detriment of what any adult near them is trying to do.
Honestly the list could go on forever since all kids are vastly different.  My experience of two-year olds so far has been with a know it all/car salesperson and boo/minoring in Know it all.  Today I truly learned what kind of two-year old my third child really is.  He is a Too Cute for the Own Good.  Let me tell you how I finalized my decision.
I enjoy participating in ministry work.  I had a reason to stop by a local non-profit today to introduce myself and give a rough sketch of an idea.  Nothing earth shattering, but yet very important.  So important I put on lipstick before I went in the office.  I buzzed in right after picking my 2.5 year old up after a full day of Parent’s Day Out.  (meaning I had 6 hours of no children today yet I didn’t make it to do this on my own)  I thought it would be quick and he would be fine.
Oh he was fine alright.  He was quiet at first and smiled.  However an internal egg timer went off and after 7 minutes he made sure he batted his eyes and said hi to all the women in the office.  He then decided his next move would be to drop his sweatpants to his ankles and run around the office like a crazy flasher.  Thank goodness the women in the office all laughed and thought it was a riot.  I quickly got his point and we bee-lined out of the office.
My children have taught me grace, flexibility and most of all I can laugh at life much more.  I was more myself with his help.  We laughed all the way to the van.  He is a delightful little devil!

Whitney Houston was RIGHT

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Ok not about every choice in her journey. But in 1986 she was right. I was 10 and I still know every bit of a song that she belted out.

She belted out quite a few so I will give you the answer. The song is The Greatest Love of All. It is about finding strength from within to take on your own life and not to give up. The line of it that she was right about was that I believe the children are our FUTURE, teach them well and let them lead the way.

I am here to say that I agree whole-heartedly with Whitney. Recently an important vote was counted in my town on education. It failed by 280 votes and only 9,288 voted. And that is really sad. Really a concentrated effort to vote by all the parents in our 11,000 student school district population could have turned the vote. It would have been amazing. 280 votes short makes me sick. Sure not all have to agree, but those who could have voted yes we need you to be ready next time.

I am a daughter who is proud of her mother and her teaching career. Her time shaped lives, dreams and hopes and that was not lost on me. She then helped, supported and taught families for 25 years with Parents As Teachers. I have a deep belief that every child deserves the best education that we can provide for them. That can’t happen if we don’t vote. When they say, every vote matters it really does. (don’t even get me started on why women should honor their right to vote… that is a different soapbox!) I know life can be crazy and forgetting can be easy. But sign up for absentee voting like my friend, who’s work hours don’t work with poll hours. Find a way to cast your vote.

We need to be active, not numb. I was just made less numb by spending an hour in my daughter’s class. I helped, listened and tried to do whatever was needed with a happy heart. What was needed was some one-one-on time with a little guy. I went out with him to work for 20 minutes on cutting, glueing and sounding out syllables. But I went out with the intent to be his very own cheerleader and build him up. Smiling big, clapping out syllables and cheering him on was my focus. I could physically see him filling with confidence and pride as we worked together. And I know that touched his heart and excited his mind when he started naming extra things we could clap together. We did about 30 more words and he got creative. He was impressed that he figured out cafeteria had so many syllables. Now I can’t wait to go again. I even asked him if I could come back and spend time with him. He replied, “how about tomorrow?”

I don’t know what your involvement is in your school district, but if you can volunteer. Please carve out the time and find the child who needs a cheerleader. It was only an hour and it added to my life so much that I had to share with you.

Don’t be shy with your gifts no matter your age… VOLUNTEER, GIVE, VOTE and PRAY!

Whatever you do, remember… Whitney Houston reminding us all that… I believe the children are our future, teach them well and let them lead the way.

PS if you have a teacher in your life, send them a note of thanks! (and a gift card to an office supply store or super store like Wal-mart and Target) They are the cornerstone in the development of our society! 🙂