Monday, January 28, 2013

The purge has begun!

I've finally started the pre-moving purge. All I can say is thank goodness for online yard sale sites because it's so much easier to take a picture and post it online to sell versus, well, any other way.

While I sold a lot, I had a good amount of kids' clothing left over. So I decided to take the rest of the items to a resale/consignment shop and see if they'd be interested in any of it.

To be fair, I need to explain that I had the clothes sorted by gender and size, but with the exception of a few items, they were all stored in black trash bags because it helped to keep them sorted when I put them in large Rubbermaid tubs. I ended up dropping off 3 items on hangers and two black trash bags of clothes.
image from
The next day when I went back in to pick up the items they didn't want (or as they adorably put it: the no thank yous), I was stunned to see that out of everything I brought in, they only accepted two items, and they were two of the three things I had on hangers.


I'm wondering if the packaging was an issue, because there were several items in the bags that had never been worn even though Sara pulled the tags off. Ah, well. It was worth a try, and I did find new homes for lots of the kids outgrown clothes, so I call that a win!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Say What?!?

Last night Sara had dance class. On Wednesday nights, I go to a Zumba class in the same building and I had noticed that there was a Zumba class last night with an instructor I'd never heard of. After dance, Megan and I walked down with the kids and went to check it out.

The instructor's name is Nitro, which I think is an awesome name for anyone - especially a Zumba instructor. It also reminds me of American Gladiators which I used to watch on Saturday mornings after cartoons when there were only 13 channels available (IF you were lucky).

Anywho, we ran into someone that Megan knows who mentioned that she likes to watch the Zumba class and make fun of people.


Here's where I turn into a giant stick in the mud and step up on my soap box.

a) at least the people in class are doing something healthy and are out there and TRYING.
b) the great thing about Zumba is that it's accepted and encouraged (at least in the classes I've attended) to bring your own style to the moves. You can't do it exactly like the instructor? So what! The most important thing in ANY Zumba class is to have fun!
c) people who live in glass houses should not throw stones. Just sayin'.
d) if you are standing to the side of a Zumba class and making fun of people, it's going to be noticed. And you know what? That makes YOU look like an a**hole.

Stepping down from my soapbox with a huff...

I was loving watching Nitro do his thang. I was loving watching his class (which was huge) do their thang. The people in class were at different levels of fitness and all different shapes and sizes but they looked like they were having a blast - which made me really want to go too.


For anyone out there who wants or has wanted to go to a Zumba class but hasn't because you are afraid of being made fun of or that you won't do the steps right or that you might look silly - listen to me right now!

GO! Get your groove on, shake your moneymaker, dance your troubles away! And if there's someone there rude enough to be standing by WATCHING and making fun of anyone else? Zumba involves kicks and turns and stuff and accidents *cough cough* happen. And I'm sure that occasionally they happen accidentally on purpose by those who defend the right to dance like no one is watching and love every second of it!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Things I'm going to miss most about Illinois

These are in no particular order!

Roads that make sense
Flat roads when biking
My Zumba instructors
My Zumba classmates/friends/partners in crime
Sweet Katie Bee's
the staff at Scott Elementary School
my friends
Motomart. I have no idea why I'm going to miss a gas station/convenience store, but I'm pretty sure the ice has something to do with it.
Margarita's in Belleville
54th Street's gringo dip and veggie burger. On second thought - it might be good that I'm leaving that behind.
downtown Mascoutah
downtown Belleville
downtown O'Fallon
the O'Fallon Y
Monika and Amy from Nirvana Salon
the Running Start
the Egg and I
Zion Lutheran Church
girl's night out
Bunco night
the sunset from my backyard
Midwestern kindness
living on a base
only being 5-6 hours from my in laws
the parks
being so close to the library
Parent's night out
Dos Gordito's margaritas after Zumba with Megan
being able to buy liquor at Walmart if I so desire
not having to deal with heavy traffic
being able to watch an air show from my driveway
Cub Scout Troop #21
Becky Kearn's dance studio
local farmer's markets

I know that's not even close to everything, but hey - it's early.

The one where I make no resolution

It's been 2013 for a week. This time last week, we were fast asleep in Newport News, Virginia after having driven there from North Carolina after finding out that my aunt's husband died from lung cancer.  Because we were driving back to Illinois on New Year's Day, we were all in bed early on New Year's Eve as well.

Long ago, someone told me that what you were doing on New Year's Eve at midnight was an indication  of what you'd be doing throughout the year. The more New Years I welcome, I tend to think what you are doing at midnight reflects more of what you did in the past year than what you will be doing in the upcoming year. Lord knows, I slept a LOT in 2012. Between sickness, iron deficiency issues, and my love of napping, I should probably be one of the most well-rested people on the planet.

This year I made no resolutions on New Year's Eve. I figured that I've done this so much in the past that maybe I should just take 2013 and enjoy it. There are going to be lots of changes and I'm not going to be in control of much of anything. So I have decided to just enjoy the journey, whatever happens and wherever it takes me.

Not to say that I don't plan to make some changes, because I do. It's just that I don't feel like the changes I want to make have anything to do with the date and everything to do with how I see and treat myself and those around me.

Cheesy? Maybe. But I don't really care.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

The Kindness of Others

I am blessed to know some amazing people. I mean, some REALLY amazing people.  How amazing? Let me give you some examples...

A friend of mine from high school was diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer. She eventually started a blog about it - Living with IBC. Check it out. You'll understand in no time why she's so amazing.  She's also a way better writer than me, plus she's flat out awesome as a person.

She wrote a post a few weeks ago that mentioned some things she realized that she'd never get to do. One of those things was to collect a magnet from every state.

One of the benefits of being in the military is that you end up knowing people that live all over the world. So I thought - hey - why don't I just see if any of my friends and hopefully my friends' friends would be willing to send her a magnet? So I posted on Facebook to try and get this thing going. I got a pretty good response, but I was still missing some states.

This brings me to my second amazing person. My brother-in-law, Eric, offered to buy her a set of magnets and send them. I mean, how awesome is that? So now she has a full set, plus the extras that are coming in from my Facebook friends. It makes me tear up that people are willing to help out someone they don't even know....just because. So to any of you that are reading this, thank you from the bottom of my heart!

The third amazing person I'd like to introduce you to? One of my favorite Zumba instructors, Doreen Warfield. She started a physical challenge for December that grew to over 1000 people. 1000 people voluntarily doing squats every day. That's impressive! To top that for January, she started a Facebook page called Endorphin it Forward. The physical challenge for January is sit ups but you join the challenge and pay (I think) $ . 15 a day for every day you actually do the challenge and $ .50 for any days you don't. At the end of the month, Doreen sends all that money to a charity, which will change each month.

My fourth amazing person I'd like to introduce you to is Laura Kelty. Laura is a friend I met while in Germany, and she just started a 31 day challenge called '31 Random Acts of Kindness". The idea is to perform one random act of kindness every day.  Laura is no stranger to performing random acts of kindness. This Christmas she organized an amazing Christmas for a group of orphans in Germany. And to her, that's no big deal.

My point in sharing all of this with you is that sometimes we all need a reminder of how many thoughtful, courageous, generous, kind, wonderful people there still are out there.  They are out there. And I'm going to try a whole lot harder to be one of them.

Happy New Year!