Friday, January 31, 2014

Remember… Life is Short….

Wow, It sure has been a really really long time since I blogged last. Honestly I have really missed writing it's just that I have been so incredibly busy that I just haven't managed to make time to write. This morning I had an experience and some thoughts that made me stop and realize that I really wanted to share some of these thoughts with you…

Today was the official NASA Day of Remembrance to honor the crews of Apollo 1, Challenger and Columbia. I could get into details about the space aspect of this… or the exploration aspect of this but that's not what I want to do right now…

Today while at Arlington Cemetery with many of the "extended NASA Family" and many friends, I couldn't help but reflect on some life thoughts in general….

Life is short people! Go live it! Enjoy it! Enjoy every moment of it! You never know what tomorrow may bring so why wait to enjoy life?!?! Get out there and live!!

Each day is a gift and not a guarantee. Don't assume that you can wait to take that big leap in your career, family, love or life in general next year - do it now! Don't say that you'll take that trip to wherever (name the place you want to go!) in a few years, if you can afford it now - spread your wings and fly! Go! If you can't afford it now, come up with a plan with a specific target date in mind. Don't just let it hang out there in the ether with no real plan because if you don't make a real plan you will just keep pushing it off.

Carpe Diem!

Life is just to short to not have fun. When opportunities present themselves, do your best to take advantage of the chance as opposed to saying "No I can't do it" because you have to work the next day or you have your house to clean. Embrace life! Embrace the joys that new experiences can bring.

Perhaps even more importantly… Tell the people who you care about how you feel. All too often we forget to let others know how much they mean to us and how important they are in our lives. In my opinion, life is all about the people who are in it. Today, while I was standing there at Arlington, taking in all of thoughts, feelings and emotions of the day, I turned to two of my friends and told them how happy I am to have them as my friends. I mentioned that we don't do things like that very often but at times where loss is so obvious you are aware that we need to do a better job of telling people how we feel. It seems like such a simple gesture yet it's something we all, in general, do so infrequently. The response I got was one of "Yes, we all do need to tell one another that we care about each other and not just at events like this."

Take the time today to reach out to one friend who is important to you and let them know. You might be surprised at the reaction you get.

I'm tired of us all saying wonderful things about people at Memorial services. Don't get me wrong, I want those things to be said there too, but I also want them to be said to the person while they are still here to hear it.

Some of you may find this next thing funny (Hodge, Erin and anyone else who was in HHS English Classes in the mid 90s….) you'll never guess what popped into my head when I was thinking about all of this….
                    "Tell Me Not in Mournful Numbers,
                       Life is but an empty dream!"
                                       -- Excerpt from The Psalm of Life by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Yes, believe it or not there are portions of this that are still ingrained in my head (Thanks to Mrs. Sebby and Honors English) from when we had to memorize this poem. I have to admit I couldn't remember all of the poem but the stanzas I did remember spoke so eloquently of some of what I was thinking and feeling today and what I've tried to write about here. I am certainly no poet but I hope my thoughts gave you some pause and something to think about…

Since this poem is all about how important it is to live life to the fullest, I'll leave you with the whole poem in closing…

A Psalm of Life

What The Heart Of The Young Man Said To The Psalmist.
Tell me not, in mournful numbers,
   Life is but an empty dream!
For the soul is dead that slumbers,
   And things are not what they seem.

Life is real! Life is earnest!
   And the grave is not its goal;
Dust thou art, to dust returnest,
   Was not spoken of the soul.

Not enjoyment, and not sorrow,
   Is our destined end or way;
But to act, that each to-morrow
   Find us farther than to-day.

Art is long, and Time is fleeting,
   And our hearts, though stout and brave,
Still, like muffled drums, are beating
   Funeral marches to the grave.

In the world’s broad field of battle,
   In the bivouac of Life,
Be not like dumb, driven cattle!
   Be a hero in the strife!

Trust no Future, howe’er pleasant!
   Let the dead Past bury its dead!
Act,— act in the living Present!
   Heart within, and God o’erhead!

Lives of great men all remind us
   We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us
   Footprints on the sands of time;

Footprints, that perhaps another,
   Sailing o’er life’s solemn main,
A forlorn and shipwrecked brother,
   Seeing, shall take heart again.

Let us, then, be up and doing,
   With a heart for any fate;
Still achieving, still pursuing,
   Learn to labor and to wait.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

The Hierarchy At Our House

I think the title of this blog and the picture say it all :)

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Super Cute Halloween Idea

A few weeks ago a cute "Trick or Treat" bag mysteriously showed up on our doorstep. I thought someone goofed and that it was meant for someone else but upon further inspection I found it most certainly was meant for us...

It's called a Boo Bag and the idea is that you surprise people with this neat treat. Check out the letter that goes with it...
Here's what the Boo Bag that was left for me contained...

And here's the sign you're supposed to hang in your window (which we did)....

Needless to say I didn't let the fun stop with us! I made up the 2 bags as instructed and left them for some folks.... I hope they enjoyed it as much as I did.

What a fun idea!!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Glee - Remembering Cory... Farewell to Finn

I wasn't able to watch last night's Glee Episode which was the Farewell to Finn episode until today.... Wow - talk about a really tough episode to watch.....

I debated all day about when to watch it... I knew it would be emotional but I didn't know just how emotional it would be....

(For those of you who only know me "electronically" - it's probably worth noting that I am not generally an overly emotional person.

You may be thinking "chelle you are crazy to be so emotional about some silly TV show" maybe you're right... but I don't think so.... It's so much bigger than just some silly TV show. Yes I have absolutely grown to really love this show and have become emotionally involved in the fictional world it is but this episode spoke to tragedy which so many of us have experienced in life in some way or another and it did it in a very touching way.

For those of you who don't know Cory Monteith played Finn Hudson on the hit show Glee. A few months ago Cory was found dead of an overdose much to the surprise of many. The writers of Glee decided that they had to tackle the loss of his character in a way that was true to Glee and I think they did an amazing job.

The show never goes into why Cory died but instead shows the emotions and pain of those who loved him so dearly. In that facet, yes this is a fictional show but it is done so true to real life that if this episode doesn't tug at your heartstrings, I don't know what will.

Perhaps one of my favorite parts of the show was when Kurt (Finn's stepbrother and dear friend) says  "Everyone wants to talk about how he died too, but who cares? One moment in his whole life — I care more about how he lived."

I will openly admit I started crying about 5 seconds into the show. The opening scene is "Seasons of Love" from Rent done in a very similar fashion to how it is done in Rent. Very effective emotional set-up for all of us who are fans of Rent because every single time I've seen Rent live on stage... that song/scene always makes me tear up.

Perhaps one of the reasons I love Glee is that while I am not a particularly musically inclined person, music has always spoken to me and been better about expressing emotions better than I can ever find the words to. I listen to songs and the evoke such strong emotions sometimes and sometimes I wish that I was a better singer so I could use other people's words to express how I am feeling. The characters on Glee do this all the time so perhaps that's part of the allure of the show for me. Each song sung with such emotion in the episode kept the tears cascading down my cheeks...

Let's put it this way - even though I was watching on DVR and could've fast forwarded through some of the commercials... I ended up watching some of the commercials just so I could catch my breath and let the tears subside a little..

The emotions of each character were truly palpable as you watched the episode... I highly doubt there was much acting required for their emotions because they truly were paying tribute to their dear friend. Seeing their very real tears and their very real pain of the loss of a loved friend just tore at my heart and kept the tears flowing. I read in an article that almost every scene in this episode was done in only 1 take (absolutely unheard of in TV) because cast members would have to run out of the room crying they were so emotional. That all comes through on the screen and makes this some of the most emotional scenes I've ever seen on the screen in any facet.

Bottom line... I think this episode was beautifully done....

And yes I went through a lot of Kleenex for my buckets of tears... just see my previous Facebook post comments to see how many :)

This episode definitely hit close to home for me in a wide variety of ways from the feelings of the pain of the loss of someone you love to the various ways that grief manifests itself in different people and at different times in different ways...

I hope this episode reminds everyone that life can be entirely too short....  Embrace life! Embrace the ones you love! Remember that each day is not guaranteed and to make the most of your days....

I send hugs to all of you my friends.....

Sunday, September 29, 2013

How is that comfortable!?!?

Guinness gets himself into the funniest of sleeping or just lounging about positions.... so often Ken and I just look at one another and ask "How is that comfortable?!" But Guinness seems pretty darn happy so I guess he is!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Half Marathons in Consideration

Man I have been a slacker this year (and who am I kidding last year too - even more so then!) about getting registered and running some half marathons...

I was thinking that I really wanted to do the Hershey Half Marathon (I mean come on - it's Chocolate Town USA!) and so when my slacker self got around to looking to register this a few weekends ago  wouldn't ya know... it's sold out! Grrrr! I should have known better. Really I do know better.... so now I'm sitting down to really start hashing out some East Coast Half Marathons that I want to get to work on getting on the calendar... Why especially East Coast? Well because at the end of the day I know we are "short timers" here in Annapolis (meaning we have a finite amount of time that we will be living here) so I ought to take advantage of this geographic location while I can.

Rock-and-Roll Series
As much as I was completely irritated with the RR series after the Vegas half a few years ago it sounds like they've gotten their act together regarding that race and honestly the other races they run have been pretty darn good. Assuming they do this again for 2014 I am considering breaking down and getting the tour pass and knocking out as many as I can with that...

Annapolis Half Marathon - November 23, 2013
I have pathetically signed up for this before and then not run it (was overcome by events) and while November is cold to me I really do have to run one of these that I can walk to from my house!

Divas Myrtle Beach - April 27, 2014
My dear friend Eve lives in Myrtle Beach so at least I've got a place to crash :) This one looks like fun and fits my East Coast slant that I am working on...

So those are the ones immediately on my radar... am open to other prospects...

Anyone want to join me at any of these? Anyone have any other suggestions? :)

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Guinness Goes to a Ballgame

A few weeks ago Ken & I took Guinness to Bark in the Park at the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs. We all had a whole lot of fun and Guinness made a few new friends too!

Guinness was not so sure about meeting Pinch but Pinch wanted to be his friend....