Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The not so glamorous part of working from home

In my past typical work environments I was one of those employees that worked for lunch. I loved it when my tummy started to remind me around 10am that in an hour I could start thinking about lunch and then soon after I could actually partake. The truth about most girls as you may know is that, yes, we do think about food all of the time. I go to bed excited to fall asleep quick so I can eat breakfast seemingly sooner.
My previous employer fed me lunch often because of the many events that were held in the building. And there is nothing better than lunch than a free lunch. A free lunch means Houstons plus a fudge brownie and spinach dip or Taqueria Del Sol for dinner....with cheese sauce and a margarita because of the savings earlier in the day. If lunch wasn't brought in than everyone walked to the CNN center together to pick something up. This was truly a glorious hour or hour and a half. Often I did feel bad because of the lack of work that surrounded the lunch hour. In all fairness, the lunch hour at this job was a lunch period comsuming at least 2 hours and fifteen minutes.

My job before that was located in a prime area within the Perimeter. 1 mile in any direction produced a mecca of fooding options for my 2nd meal of the day. I wouldn't even allow myself to think of food until atleast 11:50 because there were so many options. My mind could have wondered through each of the menu's for hours just trying to narrow it to 3. Plus, I worked for myself essentially so I didn't feel as bad about a lunch gone long.

Well, today, I ate black bean mash. Literally. Black beans and some sauteed onions and peppers all mashed together and cooked with a little cheese. The whole cuisine cost me about 32 cents. I just can't fathom spending $4 in gas to go get a $4 sandwich or burrito. More so, I am paid by the hour so even 15 minutes away (or writing for that matter) make my $4 lunch turn into a $20 lunch. only colleague is Amos, the dog. He loves to eat people food but it just isn't the same. So I am left to eat black bean mash. If you really feel sorry for me - I am available for dinner.

Back to work and dreams of a yummy dinner. Those thoughts will atleast get me through the afternoon.

Friday, May 23, 2008

There is nothing more refreshing

to me than an afternoon thunderstorm especially on a Friday. I know today is not the day the economy or the millions of people traveling to and fro for the Memorial day weekend would wish for it to rain but for me it is just what the doctor ordered. The doors are open to our condo and along with the comforting sound of the traffic on Peachtree I am so relaxed hearing the rain and the thunder and smelling the fresh clean (or more clean than before) allergy-free air! Amos and I were sitting on the floor of the patio as it began just watching the lighting to the north. He loves me I know it. Sometimes I wonder if he thinks I am a boring work-aholic because that is all he sees me do at the house since he is my associate. Usually I try to contrast that by taking him to the dog park in the afternoon to go crazy. But I do often worry if he just thinks I am a dud until days like today where he comes up and lays in my laps and just enjoys doing what I do. Amos was truly a needed and perfect addition to the fam.

I would be fine with the rain and thunder for the rest of the evening. Don't get jealous but it felt oh so good to be in my workout clothes from the morning, on my deck, watching the rain rather than watching it from a tiny office cubicle or space. And this leads me to a little praise. I am sooooooo happy to be working from home! Yes, some days I wonder if other people actually live and breathe and eat and talk and do normal things because the only thing I see for hours is a fluffy puppy but overall - this is truly my kind of living. It pains me to think I ever did anything for even 6 months where I had to wait until 5pm to see the sunshine. Or better yet, wait until 5:00:01 on the clock to pack up my things..not a minute sooner or later. Granted, I work more now than before but it is just so much more fitting for my personality. Maybe this is the case for everyone's personality and for some reason I am just lucky enough to live it out right now??? Whatever the reason..I am happy saving gas, being quiet in the morning and eating lunch when I want to. And as one of my former employees preached.....happy workers equal happy profits.

And another thing I must tell you. My heart is at rest. Really, it is fully at rest. My breathing wouldn't agree with that statement because something in the Atlanta air has taken over my lungs lately but my heart is still and smiling. This week I visited a blog. I sat in my office late that night and sobbed until my eyes hurt. This blog is written from a mother who is watching her daughter recover from a life threatening brain problem....I don't know the medical issues but the girl is near my age...near my story... married within the last few years, attended a southern college and loves life! She has a new baby boy which I dont but I could feel her pain even more knowing this. I don't know why and how but that night God literally took my cheeks and just pinched them and told me how much he adores me. He did. He asked why my heart had been so heavy and closed lately? I couldn't answer and this tore me apart more. He reminded me that He has given me marriage and my family and even Amos and an opportunity to effect others with my job. He gave this all to me because He wants me to enjoy it and then use it to show others how much He loves me. For some reason lately all of those things listed above seemed more like obligations than gifts until that night. It was Tuesday night and Brad and I had just enjoyed our favorite dinner and near-Tornado type weather....our favorite combo. And it was that Tuesday night that I will remember when I realized that God had been chiseling away at my hardened heart for awhile. For some reason that night after reading this blog I could actually feel it though. So this is one of those nights where you just let the tears come. They are the sweetest form of redemption running down my face to assure me that I am still His and I am still moved by Him. I sure needed this reminder.

Here is the blog. I am sure you have heard of this story but if not....I urge you to sit down and read and let your soul wonder. Let it feel for the family and let it be reminded of the reason we are even enjoy God and let that joy effect everything around us!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

25 hours in a day please!

I know, it has been eons since I have posted. I don't have a good excuse so here are some recent pics to keep you comin back.
More to come soon. It is about to storm in Atlanta and Amos and I are so excited! Our windows and doors are open just waiting for the serenity that comes when nature is at work.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Can man live on caramel alone?

The answer I would presume would be yes. Plenty of calories for energy to get you through any strenuous day. I think there is a negligible amount of milk in caramel...good for the bones. Need I say more?
In case you aren't convinced I am personally taking on this question as a personal experiment. I know, I am always taking one for the team!
We had a "Braduation" party for Mr. Brad this weekend to celebrate his official graduation from the Coles school of Business. Miss Cindy brought two of her world famous cakes, a little chocolate layer cake and a caramel cake. They were the rave of the party I am sure. Fortunately but unfortunately the leftovers ended up at my house. At first I stored them in the pantry because they were less likely to be nibbled on by myself and my associate, Amos. Out of sight out of mind right? Well then I convince myself that I have the will power of a horse or body builder or something that comes to mind with super will power, so I place the covered and sealed cake container right out in the open. And the destruction begins. One bite hear, a little piece of caramelicing there, 3 bites here because hey, I didn't eat enough lunch. Soon enough my fingernails are turning into caramel little ovals and I am bouncing off the walls like Amos does at night from the consistent flow of sugar to my body. And since caramel cake, especially with 23 seconds in the microwave, is the best breakfast a growing girl can get...I was in luck this morning!
I am tempted to just thrown the remainder away to keep me from ballooning before Memorial day but I am scared of myself. This could be one of those George moments on Seinfeld where he enters back into the trashcan to eat a pastry someone had thrown away. And that would be the final straw.

Please come visit us and eat a piece of warm caramel or chocolate layer cake. I have milk to go around and Amos will give you kisses. For my health and longevity - come see me.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Doctor Amos

Doctor Amos' first haircut

Brad could not stop cackling last night every time he looked at poor Amos. Amos had a date with the barber today for the first time. They cut half of his 22 lbs away I think. The good thing is we see that he actually has eyes. He looks like a little boy on his first day of school or something. His new 'do' makes me laugh too but I try not to laugh in his face like Brad does.. . cruel!

Pictures to follow.....

Monday, May 5, 2008

Megan's latest update from her mama

I am on my 4th day of working from home. This weekend Brad and I spent any spare hours creating an office "space" as the bar counter wasn't cutting it.....snacks too easily in reach. So, I feel better today. As I told my new boss and friend, I feel "promising" about this adventure. I'd say I am a 6.9 on a one to ten scale of content/comfort in this new role. I do like my commute that is for sure! More so, I like the opportunities ahead. I could tell you more but I read Megan's update today and really, it put things in perspective for me again. At the end of the day....we are still another day older and another day closer to the next thing rather that be marriage, death, sickness, promotion or victory in some form. And, still, God is there directing our steps. I am so grateful that He goes before me. Let Megan's moms' words penetrate deep.

And happy cindo de mayo! Mexican food makes me drool and tonight will be our third encounter in three days. Content/comfort factor just shot up to an eleven remembering my dinner plans for the evening!

Enjoy. And please keep her and her strong family in your prayers. They need it for sure.

40 May 05, 2008 at 03:26 PM EDT
It is May 5th and a beautiful morning in Atlanta. Megan holds on to life, taking such subtle steps of decline that we hardly notice – and for that we are grateful. Her morning smile is all we need to give us energy for the day. Outside the May garden is becoming a celebration of blooms – roses, irises, dianthus, and peonies. I will try – again - to upload some photos for you to be here with us.

And today is Cinco de Mayo as Dr. Feelgood reminded me when we planned tonight’s dinner. I am thinking we will celebrate Mexico’s victory over the French with chicken enchiladas with extra cilantro and lime (see you at 7:30 Owen!). Needless to say, we look for little things to celebrate. I do credit Dr. Feelgood for always finding something – even May 5th - to celebrate. When Megan was in the hospital, the nurses said our room looked like a French cafĂ© when he would bring candles, flowers, and carryout from Meg’s favorite restaurants. Who wants mystery meat when you can have a crab cake?

Saturday, we celebrated at the wedding of a good friend – such a celebration of love and beauty. It was a gift to be a guest and part of such a joy-filled occasion. I teared up only out of love for my friend who was a beautiful, radiant bride. Tears can flow when celebrating just as easily as they can when in sorrow. I read somewhere that they are the heart’s deepest expression when there are no words. It seems I am losing my vocabulary.

If we examine closely, we all find ourselves somewhere between celebration and sorrow, light and dark, life and death. The big moments of life – birth, death, marriage, anniversaries, and achievements – even Cinco de Mayo! – all seem to mark the years, but the day-to-day is where our obedience steps and in and decides if we will face the day with celebration or sorrow – glass half-full or half-empty, counting our blessings or complaining in spite of so many.

Even during this, our darkest hour (or I could say year), we seem to be celebrating in ways that carry us through our sorrow. Oh, not in fireworks and fanfare, but just in the simple everyday events sprinkled with love and tears. Family life is strong, friendships have never been deeper, and God stays by our side. Mostly, He is silent, but as He watches over and cares for Megan His presence is felt while we wait upon Him.

The good news is that sorrow for the believer in Christ always ends in celebration – and that is something to celebrate. Death does not have a victory for those who trust in the Lord. God’s ability to restore life is beyond my understanding. I just have to trust it and wait for it. I have to trust that God is restoring Megan for His purposes and one day I will say, “Oh, so that is why you needed her at the age of 26.” But I confess I continue to remind God that I think it would help just to have a glimmer of His plans now – just a peek. But like the old song says, “Farther along, we’ll know all about it, Farther along, we’ll understand why; cheer up my brother, walk in the sunlight, We’ll understand it - by and by.”

And in the meantime, we will try our best to celebrate today.

Viva! el Cinco de Mayo!