Friday, January 30, 2009

Another Ice Drama 2009 Update

UPDATE!!!
WE HAVE POWER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
We have 40 pounds of deer meat to cook, 16 pounds of chicken, pork chops, fish and lots of duck. I am giving meat away as I type this. I am helping the hungry today and creating lots of smiles.

We are back in J'Town today but still have no power.
My work has a really bad leak in the ceiling and we fear it is toxic, so we are not staying here for long today.
The limbs in our yard are still frozen and more have snapped. Our freezer did not stay cold and the all my meat is spoiled.
I cried this morning when we walked in the door. It felt good to cry.
My coworkers have power and they live about a mile away. I am praying they are working their way down our road. I am just reminding myself that it could be worse.
Thank you for praying for my sanity today, I need it!

Abby

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Ice Drama 2009 Update

This is what our yard looked like yesterday morning when we woke up. I have not seen it today because we have chosen to stay with Rick & Diana another night. We still have no power. My work has power, but Randall's does not. We will head back in the morning so I can work and hopefully he can start cleaning up the yard. We plan to visit our old neighbors over the weekend, and hope we can still make the trip. We have been looking forward to it.
It makes me sick to my stomach to think about my oak trees being destroyed. I hope they can be saved. We will have to get on a waiting list with a tree service to have them assess the damage. I had dreams of hanging a rope swing from the big oak in front of the house for my children. Randall said that is what I get for having plans for the trees! If you know Randall, that made you laugh.
Please continue to pray for those in our area who do not have a warm place to go. Many of the smaller towns/areas will not have power for weeks. The power lines are on the ground most all the way down Hwy 49, into Fair Oaks. It is an amazing site.
My coworkers are very cold in their homes, searching for warm showers and they are reaching the end of their ropes. Please say a special prayer for them, if you will.

Abby

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

"It sounded like bombs going off"

That is what Abby said when I talked to her just a few moments ago.

They have been without power since last evening and when the limbs of their trees would snap and fall she said it sounded like bombs going off. They are safe and sound, playing card games and telling stories. They have been to Walmart to buy batteries (and who knows what else) and said the line at Mickey D's was really long.

She said over 80% of the town is without power and all the shelters are full. Please be in prayer for those people who are without power and without a place to go. Pray for warmth and peace.

Our cousins Sarah and Brandon, the parents of the beautiful Grace and Molly, are also without power.

We here in South Arkansas are doing just fine. There is no ice, no rain, no sunshine, just a little cold. But above freezing. Stephen thinks he will be called out to do disaster relief work somewhere in the state soon. He works on the chainsaw crew and cuts down and moves downed trees. A wonderful service of the Arkansas Baptist State Convention. Go Baptists!!

Feel free to leave warm well wishes and even recipes they can use on their gas grill for Abby and even Sarah and Brandon. I will be sure to pass them along until they get power.

Stay warm!!! Julie


Update:
This is Abby. We came to Diana & Rick's for the night. They are Rand's aunt and uncle. They live about 45 minutes south of us and had power. We are staying warm, playing with the new baby, eating Diana's home cooking and surfing the Internet. Nice! I am thankful that we have them and could come here and stay. It is a very bad situation in Jonesboro and the surrounding areas. It is going to be very cold tonight and there are a lot of people without places to go. Please say a special prayer for all of these people tonight before you get in your cozy, warm beds. We have major tree devastation in our yard and all down our street. It is going to be an expensive and exhaustive clean-up. Thank you for your phone calls, texts and emails today.

Abby

Monday, January 26, 2009

Kid Updates

Anna is really coming into herself these days. She is so much fun to watch. She loves playing with the boys and they love playing with her. They let her in their forts, and sit and watch Caillou with her.(which is more than I would do, that little boy gets on my nerves!)

Today, she was watching me hang up clothes while she layed on my bed. She was on her tummy with her legs up (so cute!) I was thinking that we would have many more of these times, me working, her watching me and talking to me about her day.
And then she said,
" I think I'll smell my feet."
And then she did.
She said one smelled good and the other smelled "nasty."

Later, we were talking about what a big girl she was and she said,
"When I put my hands on my hips, I'm big!"
And I agreed with her, because when she puts those hands on her hips, and juts that one hip out just a bit she does look like a small version of a teenager.

I know I've written on here many times about how I can't imagine that this season of my life(with 4 children with me ALL the time) will just "fly by." But I want you to know that I am trying to enjoy each day as it comes. Seeing D&D grow up so fast is making me realize how much I need to treasure each and every day. Your prayers have been answered! Go God!!!

ps. I have started D&D in a 3rd grade timed reading book. They read one page, they have between 3-5 minutes depending on the length of the story, and then answer 4-6 questions about what they have read. They have done so good. The most either of them have missed is 1 question. I'm really proud of them and glad that I pulled this book out. They are also reading 3rd grade readers. They are really doing good, just wanted to brag a bit! Samuel is too, don't think I'm leaving him out, he is studying hard and learning so much. It really is a thrill to see them learn and do so well in their school work.


Julie





Saturday, January 24, 2009

Odds and Ends

Settling down in Byhalia-2004
We have been on this journey for almost a year now. I have been reflecting a lot lately. I am sure I will post about it more as it comes to the surface a bit more. I get tears in my eyes when I see how much God has blessed us with this move, after I feared it so much. I miss my "old life" and some days I wish we were there because it was so much easier, but it was not near this much fun!

One of my best travel memories - Alcatraz
As much as we don't do it, we love to travel together. We loved eating the best lobster at Landry's in Branson after a big game of mini golf, falling down in Union Square in San Francisco after touring Alcatraz, shopping at the markets in Mexico because another day on the beach would have turned us into leather, and now we are headed to D.C.
Neither of us have ever been. Please let us know if you have suggestions for us, etc. We already have our hotel booked and have an idea of what we will tour, etc. We are waiting to hear if we get to tour the White House. If you have an "in" there, PLEASE let me know. I want to see the new Target decor Michelle has picked out.

The Rives Boys
Duck season comes to an end tomorrow. This time of year is very active at our house. It has been extra active this year because we now live so much closer to Rand's family. They hunt together and are very tight knit when it comes to killing the beloved duck. I love it because they are bonding and loving each other, but not realizing it. I am not always fond of the duck remains that end up in the trash or the endless amount of duck breasts in my deep freezer, but it makes my man happy and we all know that makes the little lady happy!
Paula Raffo makes me laugh outloud
Our supper club starts tonight, and my friend Paula is the host this month.
God has blessed us more than I can express with friendship. We struggled finding our friendly place in Memphis/Byhalia. Growing up, I had friends like crazy and was a social butterfly. It is so nice to have that part of me back. It makes my heart smile.
Our supper club consists of 3 of our couple friends and us. we are all Jonesboro transplants and have lots in common. We will meet once a month and each couple hosts their month. Paula is having us meet at a BBQ place tonight because her windows have her 2 year old hand prints all over them and she can't get them cleaned and cook. I love her for being so real. It makes me laugh to think about it. I love laughing.
Look at all this cool scrapbook stuff!
My blog friend, Julie (not my sister...another Julie) cleaned out her scrapbook stuff and mailed me some of the things she was going to discard. I must say that it was most exciting to open the box last night when I got home. She mailed it to my house and it was waiting on me at the door. How fun! Thank you so much, Julie. I hope we can meet in real life sometime soon. I grew up with Julie's husband but have never met her. I love the blog world...it is such a small world.
Abby

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Days

"There will be days which are great and everything goes as planned. There will be other days when we aren't sure why we got out of bed. Regardless of which day it is, we can be assured that God takes care of our daily needs." Emilie Barnes

My sister gave me a daily flip calendar my freshman year of college. it is only dated by the day, not the year. I am using it for the 12th year and love it just as much as I did the first year. Julie initialed the days that had quotes that she wanted me to pay close attention to.
The quote above is today's quote and it is initialed in cursive "JKB". I love it because it is always on days I really need it...and she did this 12 years ago. I needed to read that this morning after a whirlwind week of work chaos. I always rest in knowing that tomorrow may be the greatest day ever and to look forward to that hope. Also, today really isn't that bad...I have work when others do not. And, I have work that I enjoy and fits my skill set. God is in all my days, both good and bad. That makes the worst day better, I tell ya.
Abby

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Remarkable Day

I am watching the inauguration on my computer at work. I sit here and think about how far we have come. I get to watch a black man be sworn in as president of the U.S. on my computer at work. Really, it is impressive. Whether we like him or not, it is pretty remarkable that our country has come this far in such a short time.
Next month Randall and I will go visit D.C. for the first time in our lives. We are anxious to see all the history. As I sit here and see history being made on my computer screen, it makes me even more excited to get there and touch, see and hear our American history.


Abby
P.S. Did you see Aretha's Hat? Oh my.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Randomness

I thought it would be fun to start the week off with randomness. Since most of my Mondays start off randomly and set the mode for the rest of my crazy week, here are some random facts about me:

I am addicted to Diet Coke and will probably die at an early age from drinking it excessively since I was in junior high.
Listening to lack of good grammar while in professional/serious settings makes me cringe.
I do not and never have appreciated my naturally curly hair.
I am addicted to food. I am a foody. I live to eat and wish I ate to live.
I do not have a favorite color. It used to be magenta, but I grew out of that.
My husband was my first serious relationship and I love that God saved my heart just for him.
I hate laundry with a passion. I hate washing it, drying it, folding it and putting it away. When my ship comes in, I will have a full-time laundry lady who lives in my laundry room and never comes out except to put the clothes away.
Blake Shelton once told me I should marry him because we had the same hair and would have pretty kids. I am so glad I declined the offer.
I never win anything and have made winning something in 2009 a personal goal of mine.
My favorite song to belt out/ sing with my sister is “Brandy”. When I hear it I always call her.
We (Rand & me) are obsessed with Dallas (the show) and are now working our way through the 9th and 10th season.
I am selective about many things in life. Some call it snotty, I call it selective because I am nice about.
After 6 bridal showers, 6 years ago, I still remember who gave me what. It is amazing, really.
People often mistake my last name for a middle name and then stare at me waiting for me to give them a Jones or a Smith. It is quite annoying.
I was saved when I was 9 years old. I thank God for giving me parents who raised me in a Godly home and taught me about Jesus, without reservation.

Abby

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Detour

We decided to go to church this morning and start seriously looking for a church to call home (Make it a "commitment"). We were all inspired and ready. It is though the devil was behind us laughing all the way. We got there and it was over...the service was over. I had not researched the times since before Christmas and they had changed the service time. It makes you want to laugh a little, but it made me want to cry. So, we came on home and decided to turn on the Christian iTunes and paint. So, here we are singing real loud and painting. I guess we can worship just as well here as we would there. Not my plan, but we detoured and made the best of it. I hope the devil went on down the road. I wish not to encounter him anymore today. He gets on my nerves!
Abby

Friday, January 16, 2009

You made it a choice

The other day I was reading a friend's blog and a quote jumped out at me. The quote was regarding attending worship services on Sunday night. The girls were talking about whether they should start going back to those services and wondering why they had stopped. One lady said "you made it a choice."
That has stuck with me for days now. I know some of you attend churches that don't have Sunday night or Wednesday night services. But for those of us that do attend churches that have 3 services a week, why don't you go to church? When did you make it a choice and not a commitment? I know there are times when it seems like Sunday is the only day you can run to the mall or the grocery store or you don't want to have to get the kids and yourself dressed for just an hour of preaching. Or maybe you think that only old people go to church on Sunday nights and Wednesday nights. And that maybe true, but do you know why? Because they didn't make it a choice, they made it a commitment.
Before you start thinking I am bashing you and saying "hey look at me". I will say that I do attend every service. But I have made it a choice, rather than a commitment, to read my Bible everyday. And unlike church attendance, God does ask that we, as Christians, stay in communication with Him, and the best way to do that is through reading the Bible.
So, I am asking myself when did I make Bible reading and telling others about Jesus a choice? When did it stop being a commitment? When did I decide I knew what was best for my life without consulting God? I don't remember when it happened, I just know it did and I know it needs to change back to a commitment.
Julie

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Sisters Q & A

Updated with questions and answers below!! Keep 'em coming!

We always hear "How are you two so close if you are eight years apart?", "How are y'all so close, living so far away from one another?" "I wish my girls could love each other like you two love each other!", "Y'all look just alike" or "Y'all look nothing alike"., "How can two girls be so different, yet just alike, and be so close?!".... and the list goes on. Well, we are going to help answer these questions and let you learn more about our sisterhood.

Once or twice a week we will post a Sisters Q&A. We want to know what YOU want to know about US (within reason, please)...leave a comment and tell us! (Yes, you lurkers, leave us a comment...we know you are out there and plentiful!) We will make you laugh and hopefully help you understand what makes us tick. This will also possibly help you with your sister or your daughter relationships. So, what do you want to know about the Sisters???

Abby and Julie

Question 1
Q: Ok, so I have to know--who was sneakier growing up? (I have a good idea, but only having met half of you...) ;)

A: (Abby's answer) I was, I cannot deny it...I am still sneaky in a lot of ways, good ways, but still sneaky.
(Julie's answer) I agree with Abby's answer. And Trish, the question was about when we were growING up, not grown up!! HA!LOL!! I can have my sneaky moments too.

Question 2
Q: Abby - did you look up to your sister and take her things just to be like her? :) My youngest daughter does this, and it drives my oldest crazy! Obviously it's done in true admiration, lol.

Abby's Answer:We fought a lot growing up. We shared a room for a while when I was in late elementary and she was in high school. I am in awe at how we ever survived. Anyway, I got on her nerves, as you can imagine. I loved her though. She was skinny, pretty, cute and had cute boy and girl friends. I thought she was "it". I remember trying to wear her shoes to school. I would stick cotton balls in them to make them fit. She had a silver pair of penny loafers that I loved and a pair of flats that had a big parrot on them. So yes, I took her things, I reckon. She never liked me using her stuff or wearing her shoes with cotton balls in them. We survived though and we can laugh about it. They will laugh one day too.

Julie's Answer: We did fight a lot!! I never saw her bugging me, taking my things, wanting to be with me and my friends as admiration. I saw it as a little sister bugging the heck out of her big sister. Now, I look back on it and see it for what it was, admiration of a really terrific older sister. Ok, so maybe that is taking it too far!
Abby and I didn't REALLY get along until I moved out of the house. I know that doesn't offer you much hope, but I will say that had I been more mature it would have been better for both of us (and the rest of the family.) I tend(ed) to be selfish and didn't really want to share my things or my time with her. Had I been living out my faith in Jesus instead of just going through the motions, our relationship would have been better, because I would have seen her need for a big sister instead of seeing a bratty little sister.
I was at a ballgame last night, and I could not take my eyes off of one of the cheerleaders from the other team. She was a beautiful girl but she had the most unhappy look about her the whole night. She would go through the motions of the cheers, but only give it as much effort as she had to and she wouldn't even say the cheers. As I sat in the bleachers and prayed for her, I realized I used to act like that. I would walk around with such a sour look on my face, only thinking about myself. Had I just looked at others, offered to help someone else, prayed for someone else my whole disposition would have changed, my attitude toward my family and friends would have changed. Oh, how life and relationships would have been different.
I know this is more than you asked, but hey! I was on a roll!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Let me just tell you that this weekend was really great. I mean really!
We went out to eat on Thursday night last week, because I put a plea out on facebook for my hubby to take us out a night ahead of schedule and it worked!! Go me! I just couldn't stand the thought of cooking Thursday night. So we ate mexican at our local mexican restaurant. And can I just tell you how great it is to have a mexican restaurant in my town? I love it, and they have the greatest punch ( ha Abby). We then headed back home to watch the SEC win big!!!
Friday night, I cooked, we ate, we played Clue, I came up with the answer but Stephen won because of where he was on the board (RATS!), and we went to bed.
Saturday, after sleeping in, I fixed biscuits, sausage and gravy and then we sat around the house. The twins were invited to a birthday party and Anna and I decided to go shopping. We spent 3 hours trying on clothes, walking the mall, and just having a great girlie time. When we got home we built a fire in the backyard fire-pit and roasted hot dogs and made s'mores while listening to the first half of the Arkansas game. The kids jumped on the trampoline, while Stephen and I sat gazing into the fire listening to the radio. Such a sweet time.
Yesterday was a LONG day at church, but a great day. We had our largest attendance in Sunday School in quite a while, we had a guest preacher, which meant my family got to sit together during the worship service. That never happens, and it was so good! We also had visitation and a funeral, fed the family of the deceased, cleaned up the kitchen, and then had potluck and business meeting. Then went to the funeral home for another visitation. I left my house at 9:35 am and got home at 7:15pm. As I wrote that, I realized that many of you are working longer hours than that everyday, so me being at church for almost 10 hours isn't much. Sorry about that, it just seemed like a really long day!
I pray you have a great week!

Julie

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Adding A little Spice To The Kitchen

This is what I came home from Hobby Lobby with this afternoon. Randall gave me a gift card as one of my Christmas gifts. This morning I decided the kitchen need a little spice now that the fall and Christmas decor has been removed. It was looking a bit sad. This is what I picked out. I went from section to section and pieced all this together, from one end of the store to the other. It took a small forever, but it was worth it.

End result on the "fridge side"

End result on the "sink side"

I think it has just the right amount of spice now!
Abby





Hide & Seek

My sister has me on a wild game of hide & seek.... in my own house... and she is not even here! You see, I am anal about my things - especially the placement of my things. So, at Christmas she hid things from me. My house was crazy with decor and people, so it was the prime time to do it. She warned me she did, but I paid her no attention because she is always full of empty threats. Well, she did it! Tough thing, she can't remember what all she hid. She promises me whatever is hidden is all in the same spot. I just have to find the spot. She is so mean to me. MAMA!!!!
Abby

Friday, January 9, 2009

Striking Gold




You will think this is fun...or at least I think it is and it is my blog (and my sister's too....hopefully she will find it fun).



I was digging through my jewelry chest last week trying to find a fun gold bracelet to wear. I rarely wear gold but am bringing it back, a bit at a time. Anyway, I opened the bottom drawer to see if by chance there was anything in my "keepsake" drawer. It holds my great grandmother's clip on hat earrings that I loved to play with when I was little, my choir pen from church, a charm necklace from a wedding I was in when I was 5, diet coke bottle cap earrings I wore in junior high and LOVED, a gaudy charm bracelet that has "A" all over that a leukemia patient gave me, etc. Anyway, you get the drift.



Well hidden in a mesh bag was this gold link bracelet with a heart charm on it. I said "Ah-ha! we have stuck gold". It was a bracelet that my Daddy bought my Meemaw for Mother's Day in 1973. It had "Mother" engraved in really pretty cursive. you cannot really even tell it says "Mother". It looks like a design, really. Then on the back it is engraved, "Love, Bob 5-13-73". I wore it that day and had people stopping me asking me if my husband bought me that for Christmas, complimenting it, etc. I then looked in my magazine and online and that bracelet is hot stuff these days. Redbook was giving one away last week that cost $175. Daddy assures me he did not pay that much for it in 1973! I honestly have no idea why I have this bracelet, but then again, Meemaw gave me just about anything I wanted when I batted my eyes real pretty like. I am sure I asked for it at one time or another while growing up and she passed along to me. So, I am now rocking out Meemaw's bracelet in style, my fine friends. I love it


P.S. To cut out any confusion for those who read this and have history with this bracelet - this is not the actual one in the picture above, yet it looks very similar.

Abby



Thursday, January 8, 2009

Cuss Jar


Randall supervises a group of temporary workers. It was a shock to his system last Spring when he was introduced to them. I am actually still in shock and I have never met a single one of them. They are a mix of high school drop outs and professional temporary workers. There are also 2 college students who help bring hope to the group.
After almost a year of being under their "curse", Randall decided to take on a new role with these people. He introduced the Cuss Jar. 50 cents for all words except GD and the F word...those cost $1.
The jar sits on Randall's desk. To get to the jar, they have to walk past everyone else. They hate walking past Ms. Libby. They feel shamed. Randall loves shaming them. Yesterday one of the guys had to pay his 50 cents in pennies and one of the ladies said,"My! Someone was really been talking dirty today!" Well, Randall said today that guy did not cuss at all. It broke him. Ah, Success!
One of the other guys has a "tab". He got paid today so Randall told him he had to pay his tab in the morning before he starts work. We will see what happens.
It is hilarious. I love the daily updates and Randall loves the cleaner conversations. Now, they are still a bit trashy and have their wives dump their belongings in the parking lot at work from time to time, get fired for having meth in their system during random drug tests, steal each others girls friends and then quit for fear of being beat up at work, etc...but at least their language is a bit cleaner.
And yes, Randall does work with more classy folk than these guys...no fear. We did not move just to fill up cuss jars in Northeast Arkansas, I promise! It is one of the many things he does...his most unfavorite thing, as you can probably imagine.
Abby

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The joy of sweaters!

I want to preface what I am about to say with this: I dearly love the swimming pool and the time I spend at it each summer. I love the feel of the warmth of the sun on my skin and the thump-thump sound of kids jumping off the diving board and the sound of them splashing into the water. I enjoy hanging out with other moms at the side of the pool and reading so many books that I have to make 2 trips to the library each week.

I love sweaters! I mean I really enjoy, love and desire sweaters. There is nothing like the feeling of my favorite pair of jeans (Old Navy Sweethearts) comfy socks and shoes, a turtleneck ( a real one, not a mock one) and a great sweater. Or even a NHS hoodie-I just got one and love it!

A sweater hides the sins of the meals and treats I've had in the past few months, it makes me feel toasty warm, and looks great. I really don't like the cold, I hate the cold wind blowing in my face, or the feeling of losing feeling in my fingers and feet because of the cold weather. But I put a sweater on, and I am instantly happy. A smile comes across my face that cannot be stifled.

So, enjoy sweater weather while you can, because before you know it we'll be sitting beside the pool with the other moms reading and talking. Me in my shorts and tank top and the other moms in their bikinis. This is the only time of year I get to feel comfortable around them!

Julie

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Thoughts from the supper table

Last night we sat around the table eating potato soup (from a Bear Creek mix-the best!!!), and we began talking about our futures.
David said he wanted to live in a mansion, yet he wants to be a reading teacher. I told him both of those probably were not going to happen, but he didn't seem deterred. He also gave us the name of his children. He plans on having 2 boys and 2 girls, their names will be John, Luke, Lucy, and Gracie. His wife is going to get to pick out their middle names. He thought this was fair, because they would each have gotten to pick out 4 names.
Anna wants to work at the mall, she asked me very nicely if she could. I told her "of course you can." I mean she is 4, I would hate to taint her love of the mall at such a young age. She then asked if she could have 2 jobs, because she would also like to work at a restaurant. It turns out, the girl just wants to work at cash register. And she got one for Christmas, so things are working out just fine for her.
Daniel thinks he is going to be a painter, he isn't sure if he is going to paint walls or pictures, but he knows he wants to paint.
Samuel didn't say what he wanted to be, but he does want to name his son after him. He is going to call him Junior. I'm hoping for grandDAUGHTERS from him!
Table conversations are usually pretty interesting at our house. We cover a variety of topics, from spiritual to silliness. I remember sitting at our family table everynight growing up, talking about our day, who we saw, what we did. They were good times, and I think made us the strong loving family we still are today. I am praying the same for my kids.
I pray your week is a good one. Keep Luke Ward in your prayers, he is having tests run and he and his family are so far away from those that care and love them the most. Yet, they are surrounded by the love of Jesus and I know that brings them great comfort.

Julie

Boring. Bland. Blah.

Now that the Christmas decor is down; my house is empty. Boring. Bland. Blah. I have had seasonal decor out since we moved in. I had fall and then Christmas...and a lot of both. It is too early for Easter and I refuse to decorate for Valentine's Day. I have spread out all 1500 square feet of decor in this 3000 square foot home and it is not doing the trick. I am now realizing we need to take a little shopping trip to Kirkland's and Hobby Lobby. It makes me anxious and those of you who really know me can only imagine my anxiety with all the blandness (is that a word) and then the impending trip to buy things.
"I am blessed to have the home". This is what I keep telling myself as I look at empty shelves and tables.

Abby

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Welcoming 2009


Like my dear sister, I wish not to discuss the 2008 resolutions because only a few were accomplished! 2008 was a HUGE year in our home, as you faithful readers very well know. This year I am focusing on "goals" and they are generic and few. Maybe I won't be setting myself up for failure this way. That is my hope, at least.

1. Join a church
2. Get comfortable (in various areas of my life)
3. Learn to say "no" without feeling guilty
4. Laugh more while enjoying the "now"

I, like many of you, have habits I would love to break. I ran across this writing on the Internet a few weeks ago and thought it was pretty neat. It made me think about my habitual patterns. Maybe it can also help you with unwanted habits, etc.

THERE'S A HOLE IN MY SIDEWALK
Autobiography in Five Short Chapters
By Portia Nelson

Chapter One
I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I fall in.
I am lost .... I am helpless.
It isn't my fault.
It takes forever to find a way out.

Chapter Two
I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend that I don't see it.
I fall in again.
I can't believe I am in this same place.
But, it isn't my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.

Chapter Three
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it is there.
I still fall in ... it's a habit ... but, my eyes are open.
I know where I am.
It is my fault.
I get out immediately.

Chapter Four
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.

Chapter Five
I walk down another street
Happy New Year!
Abby