Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Night Showers vs Morning Showers

I've been thinking a lot about showers...  I know, a silly thing to think about!  My big thought process has revolved around whether or not I enjoy taking showers before bed or after I get up and I think I love both.

At night, it's a nice time to relax and clear my head and it's even better when the sheets are clean and the bed has been made.  Of course, the two latter situations don't happen often so it kind of destroys the clean, fresh and crisp feeling as I slide into bed but I digress...

When I get up in the morning, it's a way to prepare my mind for the day and knowing that I'm clean and ready to go and I feel so awake!  Sometimes, I even feel pretty enough to put on some makeup or try something with my hair.

I've decided that when you can't decide which one to take, you can either take both (which will make your water bill go up & double your shampoo, conditioner & body wash expenses) or wake up in the middle of the night (which I've so conveniently been doing) and take a shower before going back to bed!

After waking up around 2am and tossing around in bed until 3:30 I decided to get up and take a shower.  After my shower, I debated cleaning for 2 hours (the apartment needs it) or try to go back to sleep.  I decided on the latter & lay in bed and was able to sleep until about 6:15 or so.  Of course, I was pretty groggy at this point so it took me a little while to actually get up and get dressed but I did ok throughout the day.

What do you prefer?  Do you take two showers a day?  Do you take only one - if so, is it when you get up or when you head to bed?  Or do you make it a point to wake up in the middle of the night & take one?

I hope you're all clean and enjoying your day.  As for me, I'm skipping the "before bed" shower & heading to bed really early.  Hopefully, I'll be getting rid of this illness that I have very soon.

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I Just Want to Be Ok by Sarah A. Manning is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Monday, December 27, 2010

This is Interesting

So Michael & I went up to Wisconsin on Saturday night to spend time with his family for Christmas.  We slept over & stayed through most of Sunday.  Most of it was ok - a private apology was made to me (which was very nice and appreciated by me) until my MIL got crabby.  Then we get home & are in bed...  It was nice.  The dogs were exhausted and we were exhausted & I've got a bad cold going on right now so I'm not feeling the greatest either.  Mike had to work in the morning & I had to start at 12:30.  We set the alarm and were ready for today, the last Monday of 2010.

Nothing could have prepared us for today.

Mike was in a car accident which is caused our car to be towed & probably totalled since it's not worth much anyway.  He is fine (thank God) and I'm sure we'll be fine - especially since the other guy was at fault & we won't be responsible financially - except for what we need to pay for up front (the rental car especially).  We'll be late on rent but have already notified the office.  They were especially concerned with how Mike was doing which was a very nice surprise.

So Mike was late to work & the police gave the report & the car was towed & we have an ugly rental (the Chevrolet HHR).  But it's cheap enough and we'll get reimbursed either way since that's the special coverage I have.  ^_^

So we were fine.  All information collected, Mike made it to work (who were also concerned with his health & safety) and I was showered & ready for work.  Emily, my sister, came to get me, we got lunch and stopped at Target then she dropped me off at work where I realized that I didn't have my badge to get in.  I walked around the building, through snow, looking into the window and knocking once...  I walked back to the front and was still on hold on the phone and now 5 minutes late.  So I tried getting a hold of a supervisor & got my sister to come back for me...  We got my badge & came back & I clocked in about 30 minutes late.  Ugh!  I hate being late.

So now I'm sitting here at work with a couple of people I'm not familiar with & they're pissed that I was late (we actually were a little busy around 12:30) so now I don't want to get up for anything.  Unless it's an emergency, I'm not getting up for a drink, bathroom, nothing.  I'm just going to stay glued to my seat.  I even did some extra work because there were some requests in the email boxes.

Well, I hope that this last week of December finds you well.  Please be safe and have a happy new year!!!

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I Just Want to Be Ok by Sarah A. Manning is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Saturday, December 25, 2010


I hope I'm the first one to wish you a Merry Christmas.  Of course, the only reason why I'm up, writing this blog is because I'm working.  Yup!  I'm working from 11pm Christmas Eve until 7am Christmas Day.  I have a feeling that this is going to be more difficult than I thought since it's been a few years since I've been on this shift.

I'm happy to be capable of realizing the true meaning of Christmas...  Jesus was born to save us.  He was born to bring us peace and eternal life and to help us to feel the unconditional hope and love that only His Father - Our Father - can give us.  I hope that you are also one of the lucky ones to be able to feel this love this Christmas season.

On a downside, I think I'm getting sick.  I woke up this morning with a sore throat and now it's itchy and scratchy and very dry...  I'm not sure how I'm going to feel tomorrow or the next day but I really hope I don't get sick with the flu.  I have been feeling cold lately, now that I think about it...  Of course, it's been pretty cold here so it's probably nothing!

I have all of my Christmas shopping completed and I will be wrapping them up in a little while.  I spent a little more than I was thinking I would be I'm pretty satisfied with what we're giving to others this year.

Anyway, I hope you have a safe and happy holiday.  I'll write more soon.

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I Just Want to Be Ok by Sarah A. Manning is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Are you afraid of your toilet?

I almost took a "before" and "after" photograph to post here but considering the fact that I do not want to be held responsible for the at least $1000 damages from computers lost due to my readers getting physically ill I decided against it.

I am embarrassed to say that it has been about 2 months (yes, months) since my toilet has been cleaned.  I've cleaned the kitchen numerous times and vacuumed at least 3-4 times, have washed the dogs and done a LOT of laundry yet somehow, it's always the bathroom that gets completly neglected.  After these 2 (3) months of depression creeping in and taking over my every move (it takes me 2-3 days to get one seemingly simple task done when I'm like this - and that's after I've finally motivated myself to get up and do it) the overwhelming urge to deep clean the toilet took over.  I could not leave the bathroom one more time until it was clean.  It's a good thing I keep my bathroom cleaning supplies in the bathroom or I would have been yelling at my husband to get the supplies from the closet for me!

Let me tell you...  It was disgusting.  Now, the seat...  I've wiped that down a few times.  I have Clorox or Lysol or whatever brand cleaning & disinfecting wipes that I've used so don't be too grossed out.  But getting down there on the floor....  I decided that I wasn't going to be using my "Natural" cleaners.  It was time to break out the bleach!

I heard my husband yelling at the television (the Bears game is on, you know) and telling Devin Hester to go for the record, "IT'S ALL  YOURS MAN!!!" as I scrubbed away.  I have to tell you that I feel so accomplished when I complete such a small task.  How silly is it that getting the toilet back to the color it is supposed to be; completly clean and disinfected; makes me beam with a little pride thinking that I've done something really great?

Of course then, I come out of the bathroom, toss out the 20 (yes 20 - I cleaned the floor & the ledge of the baseboard wood too) paper towels and realize that I've truly done nothing.  The "house" is still a mess...  We have a huge pile of things that need to be donated to Salvation Army, a pile of things that I said, "Oh, let's just put that in storage" and you don't even want to look in our extra room - the room that's supposed to be all mine...  The room we put the dogs in when we're gone & only have room to walk through.  I want so much more.  I want to clean out my nice walk-in closet and get rid of the "crap" that doesn't belong in there.  I want to be one of those people that needs to have things clean and organized before she can go to bed.

I think I can see the steps that I need to take to get there but I feel as though I won't ever be able to accomplish this.  I was going to take my last few days off of work this year to do some of it but then things came up & I took some Paid Time Off/Vacation.

I would just like to point out that I don't have children.  I'm not saying that as an excuse like, "Oh, well she's busy with her children and besides that, as soon as you clean an area as a parent, the child comes through and makes a new mess."  I'm saying it as in I feel as though I can barely clean up after myself (& the husband)!  How ridiculous is that???  I'm 27 years old!!  What's wrong with me?

Do any of you feel like this?  Like even when you finish something & feel really great about it then all of a sudden you realize it's only been one task out of 100?  What do you do to help yourself through it?  How do you tackle the never-ending tasks and organization?

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I Just Want to Be Ok by Sarah A. Manning is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

So Many Things to Cry About Today

I have cried so much today...  It is absolutely ridiculous.

I need to learn to bring tissues to church.  There was a woman who told her story and explained how she came to Christ and it brought me to tears about 3 or 4 times in her 15 minutes of speaking.

Then the sermon by Pastor Phil was about how Christ was born to save us.  I cried when he explained how many people have come to him telling him that they would rather be dead than live another day in this life.  I can completly understand where these people are coming from because many days my husband and I both feel the same way.  Pastor Phil said that the one thing that he says to these people is that they're in the perfect position to live their lives for Christ.  You lay down your life and your needs and live for Christ.  You praise others for their successes because the benefits of this physical life mean nothing in comparison to eternal life. You can listen to the sermon here. Just click on "Sermon Player" at the bottom & listen to Born to Rescue to hear it.

Then I hear about this. A blogger wanted to donate $30 gift cards to 20 people who did not know how they were going to provide gifts & food for their children this Christmas. Apparently the response was not only overwhelming regarding those who needed the support but also for those who were willing to help. As of this afternoon, more that 650 gift cards have been sent to families in need!  As I'm reading her blog, I'm tearing up (yes, again) and thinking about how amazing it is that people are so willing to help out a stranger.

So this holiday season, please remember those in need.  Help whomever you can - give someone a ride, buy them a coffee, donate to a charity (check out Cake Wrecks for a daily suggestion) or simply bake some cookies for your neighbor! It's the little things that make a big difference.

God Bless you all.

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I Just Want to Be Ok by Sarah A. Manning is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Ten Days???

I'm not sure how this happened but Christmas has completely snuck up on me!!  I cannot believe that it is in 10 short days.  I knew that Christmas was coming, mainly due to the goose getting fat, but it didn't seem to click in until today when I looked at the calendar noting that it's already the 15th of December and I have no Christmas decorations up at home, we don't have a tree and I'm not even halfway through with the Christmas shopping.  Of course, I have my lists so I'm prepared for the remainder of the shopping but still...  Not being complete, it's going to be difficult.

Still on my to do list for Christmas are the following:
* Finish the Christmas shopping
* Cleaning the apartment
* Taking out the Christmas decorations
* Decorating the apartment
* Donating to charity
* Bringing extra icicle lights to work so that I can finish decorating there
* Baking some cookies to bring to Christmas
* Getting lots of caffeine prepared for working 11pm-7am Christmas Eve to Christmas morning

I look at that list and think, "That's not too bad.  It will take no time to get that completed!"  Then I realize that if I'm going to get it all done, I need to start doing things after work!  It makes me wish that I had a second car so that I can get cleaning and decorating done at home before work every day.  At least I have time to decorate at work!

Speaking of work, it's now time to start so I'm going to go.  I hope that you're all prepared for the "big event" in 10 days.  If not, remember that you've still got a little time.  Hopefully, you'll be able to strategize and beat the crowds.

Have a wonderful Wednesday!

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I Just Want to Be Ok by Sarah A. Manning is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

One Act of Random Kindness

Ok friends. I'm cleaning up some of my blogs (I have way too many) and am posting a couple from a blog I started to write about marriage called "The First Year is the Hardest". Here's the second (& last) post!

Good morning!  I hope today finds you well and gives you hope.

My husband and I often spend our mornings getting up as close to the alarm going off as possible and usually barely have enough time to take a shower and get out the door.  However, this morning we both looked at each other and mentioned that we were hungry.  Given the fact that we don't have any milk (so cereal is out) or time to make some eggs, we decided to use up the last of our spending cash ($30 every two weeks) and stop at the good McDonald's before driving me to work.  Now, obviously McDonald's doesn't have the reputation of being "good" for you or anything like that and this one is no exception but if you must go, this McDonald's is a great stop in your day.  They're always polite and kind and get your order right!

I believe that one of the things that help you live a happy, successful life is performing random acts of kindness and holding onto those to keep you going.  To give people, especially your spouse, a bit of happiness or a reason to smile really helps.

Now, anybody who knows my husband and myself know that we don't often make each other smile.  Life has been difficult for us (not terrible, mind you) and the emotional baggage that we both carry with us wears down on your heart and soul.  We spend a lot of time in the crazy cycle and have a very difficult time of stopping it.  It takes time, patience, love, faith, respect and those acts of random kindness to help get out.

Michael and I will have been married for 4 years next month and have already reached the point where we were both ready to give up and throw in the towel.  October 2009 was a breaking point for me.  I felt completely unloved and resentful which caused me to be completely unloving and disrespectful.  So I decided that I was going to have a talk.  I told him that I have found myself feeling very unkind and unloving towards him and that it wasn't fair to him and it wasn't fair to myself.  I focused on speaking to him from the heart, telling him how I was feeling and how we could work together to fix the situation.  I told him that things needed to change or I would be leaving soon.  So we started trying to communicate more.  We tried helping each other out.  He started trying to help out around the house and told me that he would work at getting a job (we were living with his mother at the time, he wasn't working - only going to school, I was only able to work part-time since my full-time position had been eliminated).  We tried very hard to be patient with each other...  It started working - for a while.

The next month, his mother started yelling at us about her finances and how we were taking money from her (she paid for food & utilities so we could get back on our feet) and that we had stolen $2000 from her.  We were taken aback, telling her that we had no idea where $2000 had gone and that we weren't taking anything that she hadn't authorized.  Anyway, the argument became very heated and his mother said something very cruel to me (we'll get into that on another day) and I packed my things and told Michael that I was leaving.  He stood up to his mother, who spent another hour telling him about him letting me go, to get a divorce, that I don't love him, that I'm sleeping around - the list goes on - and he told his mother that she was out of line and that he was leaving with me.

We moved in with my mother and both fell into a deeper spiral of depression.  Thanksgiving was the next day and Christmas the next month...  By February, Michael had finally gotten a job and I would soon be starting a new full-time job and we decided to go out around Valentine's Day.  We drank and ate and left.  Michael was upset about something and wanted to get some beer to bring back home.  I told him I didn't want to, that I just wanted to go home.  He became angry and started yelling and was driving around, looking for a place that was open and selling alcohol.  I asked to go home, to get out of the car and eventually hit him.  I hit him a few times, he finally pulled the car over and I got out to walk home.  Then he was pulled over.  He passed the sobriety test and that's when the police officer told him that his driver's license was invalid because it was out of state and he has lived in this state for more than 90 days.  My mom & dad "rescued" us and brought us home fuming.  I told Michael that I was done.  I couldn't believe that he had been so unloving towards me, with the yelling and screaming at me...  I told him that I couldn't believe that he had been so unreasonable and questioned why he didn't just bring us home.  He screamed at me, telling me how disrespectful it was to have hit him.  That it was completely wrong.  We had both decided that things were going to end.  He stayed on the couch and we both tossed and turned for hours.  Around 3 in the morning, I came upstairs for water and he was awake.  We talked quietly for a couple of hours and eventually went back to the room we were staying in together.  The next day was spent consulting with my dad about the Love & Respect program and he gave us the book on CD and explained it to us.

Basically, men are looking for respect and women are looking for love. 

Women love naturally.  They have no problem showing love to people (or animals, as is especially evident with me!) and can spend their time and energy showing others love.  Women show kindness and affection - even in greeting a new person.  Since women are designed to love, it can be very difficult to show respect. 

Men respect naturally.  There is an understanding of respect between men - even when greeting a new person.  The exchange is one of respect as opposed to the kindness and affection that women show.  Since men are designed to respect, it can be very difficult to show love.

When the crazy cycle starts, it is fueled on by the lack of love (from a man towards a woman) and lack of respect (from a woman towards a man) and vice versa.  It doesn't matter who starts what, the cycle will continue until you learn how to stop it.

We dove into the book on CD.  We drove together every day and spent hours in the car.  We listened to every CD within a week and found that so much of what was said made sense.  We were able to recognize the things that we were doing to each other and it brought light to understand how we were making the other person feel as well as the thoughts and feelings behind the actions or words of what the other person was doing/saying.  We found hope and strength to move on and work together.

The idea of Love & Respect saved us.  It saved us as a marriage and it saved us as individuals.

Before you start thinking that we're perfect now, I want you to understand that we're not.  We're far from it.  Love and Respect is a daily decision.  There will always be things in your life that cause you to stray and make things difficult.  But if you make a decision to try, you can make it through.  I truly believe that Acts of Random Kindness from both of you can help to keep the love & respect alive.

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I Just Want to Be Ok by Sarah A. Manning is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Monday, December 6, 2010

The First Blog is the Hardest

Ok friends. I'm cleaning up some of my blogs (I have way too many) and am posting a couple from a blog I started to write about marriage called "The First Year is the Hardest". Here's the first post!

Hello and welcome to my blog!

My husband and I have  been together for more than 7 years and have been married for almost 4 years.  We have lived together for most of that time and figured that we would eventually get married.  We knew that the realtionship that we had with each other was different from any other relationship that we had ever been a part of.  There was a deeper connection.  Throughout the first few years of living together, we learned the good and bad things about each other.  We learned about the bad habits and little quirks that you learn through living every day with the person.  Of course, going through this, we though, "If we ever get married, it will be a breeze!" and "They say the first year of marriage is the hardest, we should be fine after living together for a few years."  Of course, we were unaware of the things that change after you get married.

Yes, you're still living together but there's a different emotional level.  There's a sense of a greater responsibility towards that person.  You're now "stuck" with your spouse's family members, whether you like it or not.  Before, even if it wasn't thought about, you did have it in the back of your mind that you can abandon ship.  You can leave or break up or go on to greener pastures.

Of course, the divorce rate is extremely high so apparently, people are still running around, searching for greener pastures and avoiding the feelings of being strapped down but to us, my husband and myself, we take our relationship very seriously.  It is a struggle to look at it as a blessing because the negatives in life always seem to outweigh the positives.

Having said all that, I would like to let all of you know that we were naive.  To all of those people who told you that the first year of marriage is the hardest - I don't believe them.  Marriage - let me rephrase that - a successful marriage requires a daily pledge to love and respect the person that you're with.  Yes, the first year is difficult but the years beyond are difficult as well.  As you go through life, you experience many changes.  Jobs change, which create additional stress and strain on any relationship, let alone marriage; children come (or don't); families struggle (you know, the people who were there before you?) and feelings change.  These are the things that make marriage hard - even after the first year.

In my blog, I'm going to be very frank with you all.  I will present the struggles that we deal with regularly and while I will attempt to keep our deeply personal struggles out, I'm sure that I will tend to include them here.  I hope that we can all learn and grow together through this blog.  I welcome your comments and suggestions and will even answer questions, if you have any.

I hope you all have a wonderful day and I am looking forward to writing to you about all the ins and outs of marriage!

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I Just Want to Be Ok by Sarah A. Manning is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

The Masks We Wear

So I decided that I was going to take a shower tonight since I'm sure I won't be able to get up early enough in the morning to take a nice shower to get started with the day.

The other night, I was going through my basket of mani/pedi supplies (nail & cuticle clippers, nail file & buffer, polish & a couple of trial & travel sized lotions & soaps.  I decided that I would try the hair mask and use the "Sea Mud Mask" for my face.  I lit a candle and started the shower...  Then I washed & put on the masks.  I had to get out of the shower to make sure I was covering my face properly.  Also, since I've never used any type of mask before I wanted to see what I looked like.  Of course I laughed & had to show Mike.  When I got back into the shower, an interesting sensation began.  It started out as a tingling then quickly roared to life on my face.  The mask burned!!!  It reminded me of the Gilmore Girls episode where Rory & Lane have to bleach Lane's hair before dying it purple and it burns so much that Lane runs out into the town square running at top speed.  Of course, I'm not about to jump out of the shower and run around naked in the apartment complex in the snow (especially since Anna teased me & made me walk, slip and slide around in the snow in flip flops just 30 minutes or so before) so I quickly washed it all off my face.  The burning sensation is finally gone, thanks to the special Aveeno Night Cream I've got.

Basically, I'm not sure that a mud mask is supposed to burn that much, so I will definately do some research before I get another one - sample or not!  ^_^

It is pretty late now for me and I've got to get to bed.  I hope you all had a wonderful weekend.  I'll talk to you again soon!
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I Just Want to Be Ok by Sarah A. Manning is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Happy December!

Well, the holidays have officially started!  Thanksgiving was last Thursday and we're now into December.  While most people are obsessed with the thoughts of Christmas gifts (yes, I like the thought of giving & receiving) I find it comforting to know that the real "reason of the season" and the true gift is Jesus Christ.  He was brought on this Earth to give us the gift of life and forgiveness.  For whatever reason God loves each and every one of us - flaws and all.  If we ask, we receive forgiveness and can have everlasting life in Heaven.

On Wednesday night, I was reminded of His love for me...  I found myself wondering why I was hesitating at a green light at an empty intersection yet I was still not moving forward.  Less than a second later, a car coming from the left flew through the intersection, running his red light at 40+MPH (the speed limit on the road he was on).  He would have t-boned my car at the driver-side door and I would have been very seriously injured if not dead.  I drove through the intersection after he passed and thought to myself, "Thank you, God.  You're watching out for me...  God really does love me," and then had tears streaming down my face.  His love for us is so great...

What reminder do you have of His love?  What is the light in the darkness and stress of your everyday light?

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I Just Want to Be Ok by Sarah A. Manning is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Friday, November 19, 2010


I was at work today, writing a Quality Assurance report for a customer because of an issue and some of my co-workers were joking with me about how I was going to be "writing another novel".  It was pretty funny and brought about a conversation about how I should be a writer.  I responded by saying that I enjoy writing and have thought about it a little.  She said that I should get a part-time job writing or start writing a book.  Of course, this made me think about the memoir that I've kind of started and how I've been writing this blog.  She said that I should at least start a blog or something.  I told her that I do have a blog but don't write about anything in particular.  Of course, she said, "Well, you should pick a topic and write."  Now, I've been spending the night thinking about a topic to write about.

I feel like I don't know a whole lot about any one thing in particular.  I know a little bit about school and education...  I know a little bit about crocheting and scrapbooking and even a little bit about music.  I know what I've read about emotional abuse and psychology...  I'm just not any type of "expert" or even close to any of those subjects.  How can you become a successful blogger about a particular subject if you don't know a lot about what you're writing about?

I think about those dating bloggers or that girl who blogged her way through Julia Child's cookbook but if I were to begin writing about something in particular, I would want it to be about something somewhat unique.

Of course, this subject came up the day after I pose a question to you, my readers:  Are there any topics that you'd like me to write about?

So for now, I'll continue to think about the things that I would want to write about and will continue to blog pretty regularly about my life because that is one thing that I can write about - no matter what.

Hmm..  I think it's time to consult an old friend of mine who writes an online column for Chicago Now: Just Beat It.

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I Just Want to Be Ok by Sarah A. Manning is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Test 1: Cranberries

So, I was feeling adventurous tonight and decided that I would try making the homemade cranberries to see how they worked out (& especially to make sure that they tasted good so that I'm not embarrassed with sucky cranberries on Thanksgiving).  So I washed the fresh cranberries, put them in with my secret recipie and voila!  Cranberry sauce!  It's actually pretty jelly-like which I think is cool.  After heating it all up and thickening it, I'm supposed to let it cool on the stove (which I've done) then put in the fridge to chill for at least 30 minutes.  I just put it in a container in the fridge so we'll see.  Maybe I'll bring it into work tomorrow and have some people taste test them!

So while I'm cooking, I've decided that I'm tired of looking at the kitchen and the mess that is never-ending.  It seems as though every time I ask for assistance, it's done halfway then never completed.  So I cleaned the stove, put clean dishes away, fixed the cabinet doors that were coming loose, put all the dirty dishes that I could fit into the dishwasher, cleaned the countertops by the sink & the sink itself and hand washed my baking sheets.  Whew!  About an hour of cleaning and I must say that I'm completly wiped!  My knees ache and my lower back hurts and I'm really tired. 

Having said that, I'm not taking any chances with my sleep.  I've taken my sleeping pills and will be dozing off shortly.  Last night I tried falling asleep without my sleeping pills and failed miserably.  It was midnight before I gave up and took some.  Of course, Mike snoring really loudly in my ear didn't exactly help!  lol

Well, I hope this post finds you all well.  How do you like the fish at the top of my blog?  I found out that I could add them and thought it was too fun to pass up!  I also hope that if you find my blogs interesting that you'll share my blog with your friends.

Feel free to leave comments below - ask questions, tell me about yourself or request something that you'd like to hear me write about!

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I Just Want to Be Ok by Sarah A. Manning is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Thanksgiving is almost here!

For whatever reason, I'm really excited for Thanksgiving this year.  I have volunteered to work on Thansgiving & the day after (also known as Black Friday) and have actually been selected to work the evening shift - for both days!  YAY!  I'm going to be attempting to make cranberry sauce and maybe even a pumpkin cake and head to my mother's for an afternoon dinner.  Mike has decided that he's going to be spending Thanksgiving weekend with his grandparents like he always used to do (which is fine) and was even talking about spending Christmas with them as well.  I told him it didn't matter - I'm not about to tell him who he can & can't have contact with - and it doesn't really..  We see my mom a lot and live much closer.  Plus there's his extended family that he'll be able to visit with on December 26th.

Thinking about plans for the holidays makes me think about what other people are planning.  I know that there's a lady that I work with that was talking about how much she wants to visit with her mother but will be unable to make the drive by herself (she's been out sick for months & just came back & her husband broke his hand or wrist last week & her daughter is getting sick).  I think another lady I work with is making Thanksgiving dinner at her home.  She was talking about the turkey & some special stuffing for her MIL.

I'd love to host Thanksgiving but I have no room and no furniture so...  I guess maybe next year!

I hope this blog is finding you all well.  I will write again soon!

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I Just Want to Be Ok by Sarah A. Manning is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Can We Change the World?

I was reading up on some blogs that I've missed recently and came across a link to this one. When I began reading it, I was a little angry. I was offended. I thought things like, "How could someone say things like this?" and "Wow, way to make me feel better!" (do you hear the sarcastic tone?) Then I got some courage to read on...

So I'm reading this blog and trying to understand just what it is he's saying and when I've ever actually heard someone say these things and he asks the question, "How many of these statements have you yourself said or thought?" "How many of them have you said or thought just since you got out of bed this morning?" It was like I was just hit by a bus. I have thought these cruel, hateful thoughts. I have said these cruel, hateful words. To myself, mostly, although I'm sure that I have said these things aloud to someone or about someone else, other than me.

I am ugly.
I am fat.
I am a bad wife.
I am a terrible daughter.
I don't keep my home clean enough.
I am stupid.
I am weak.
I do not dress well enough.
I am nothing but a doormat (until, of course)
I became too mean; too opinionated.
I am not good enough.
I will never be good enough.
I am worthless.

Dan then goes on to say that men are responsible for these thoughts, words and feelings. I'm not sure I believe that completly. I think that men contribute but I know that women contribute as well. Dan states, "Guys... It is our fault. The blame lies with us." I think the blame lies with everyone.

How many men have thought these same things? Of course, "wife", "mother", "daughter" aren't terms for men but you get my point.

We need to stop being so judgemental - of ourselves, of others.. We need to embrace each other and the strength, beauty and honor that they possess. Dan says, "It's time we make a bold declaration against everything we've ever been taught," and he's right. Maura Kelly's cruel article about "Fatties" getting a room (and how hurt she must feel on the inside) shows just how badly we've all been hurt and how much we've been taught about perfection being the goal in society.

Dan states, "It is not the impossibly air brushed females on magazine covers who are causing women to hold themselves against a standard of perfection. No, it's not that at all. Holy crap. Why am I just realizing this? Why doesn't anybody seem to realize this? It is the men that stop and look at those magazines."

But women look at those air-brushed models and envy them too. Not just to win over our men so that we can stop thinking that they only way to make them happy is to be perfect.

And what about the "beautiful" men in their magazines? The half-naked men in advertisements... Women look at those. Are you saying that women make men feel fat and unattractive?

I know that I've felt - who am I kidding? I feel as though being beautiful and thin and smart is the only way I'll be able to be happy with myself.. That without all this extra weight, I will be able to run and spend time with my dogs and hopefully, in the future, with my children. It will make me healthier and strong enough to do the things that I want to do. That without my "ugly" face, I will be able to smile and make other people feel happy. That being smarter will allow for me to get a "full-ride" scholarship so I can finish my education and learn more!

Dan does go on for a while, explaining his thoughts in detail and how important he believes a man's role is to help women change the way they feel about and view themselves. I believe it's not just about the men and their views and opinions. It's up to everyone, as a society, to believe in each other and see people as people.

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I Just Want to Be Ok by Sarah A. Manning is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Thank God for that!

So Michael has been home sick for the past couple of days.  This is unfortunate for a couple of reasons.  The first is that I hate it when he's sick.  He feels crappy and there's nothing that I can do to help him.  The second is that he is missing out on work, which means we're missing out on income.  Mix the two (or three, if he doesn't go in tomorrow) with having had Monday off for traveling and next Monday off for his mother's surgery and that means his next paycheck will be for 1 (or 2) day(s) this week and 4 days next week.  Put that on top of the fact that he no longer works in recruiting and we're losing money there as well.  Put all of that together and Sarah is stressing about money!

Anywho...  The doctor did confirm that he does has the flu.  A few weeks ago, I got the flu shot (after debating it for a while, having never gotten the vaccination) and now, I'm really glad I did.  It's bad enough that Mike is missing out on work & income but if I were sick, it would be the two of us missing out on work and income.

Thank God for me getting the flu shot. :)  Hopefully I am not jinxing myself and will continue to be healthy.

How are you feeling?

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I Just Want to Be Ok by Sarah A. Manning is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Telemarkers at Work

I work in the reservations department at a conferencing center and we receive calls from telemarketers all the time.  I hate these calls...  I'm not a receptionist.  I'm not an operator.  I schedule your conference calls.  I feel like telling these people that they've dialed the wrong number!  Someone mentioned yesterday that there should be an option to speak with the receptionist although I suppose then the receptionist would get a lot of people that really want to schedule a conference.

Anywho..  This one guy calls in today & was so vague about all of the information he gave me that it was all I could do to keep from laughing in his ear.

Caller:  "Hi.  This is Mike.  Is Greg Doerr there?"
Me:  "May I ask what this is in regards to?"
Caller:  "Yeah..  I'm just following up with him."
Me:  "Okay..  What's the name of your company?"
Caller:  "My VRM."
Me:  "So to confirm, you've spoken with him before and would like to follow up with him about what?"
Caller:  "Um..  We're a vendor."
Me:  "..."
Caller:  "We were talking about solutions."

What the hell?!  So he's Mike calling from VRM (which doesn't tell me anything about the company) and he's a "vendor" (of what exactly, I'm not sure) "following up" (he avoided my question pretty well as far as if he's spoken with Greg before) with the CEO of our company (who doesn't really speak with vendors as far as I know) following up on "solutions" (again, of what?  What kind of solutions?).  Greg doesn't answer his phone anyway so I put him into voice mail.

There was also someone who called in today and handled it completly differently.

Caller:  "Hello!  My name is Todd Banks and I'm with a company called Paragon Micro.  We're an IT reseller company.  Can you direct me to someone who can help me?"
Me:  "Why sure Todd!  It will be just a moment while I verify who that person is."  "Thank you for holding.  I'm going to transfer you to David."
Caller:  "Ok..  Let me write that down..  Do you have his last name?"

Blah, blah, blah...

So, which guy do you think I respected more and wanted to help?  Yup.  That's right!  The guy who was up front and provided me with information.

So here's to you, telemarketers doing business to business calls, give up the info!  Have confidence!  We'll provide you with as much as we can if you can do the same.  It's all about Mutual Respect (GO BHS!!).

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I Just Want to Be Ok by Sarah A. Manning is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Driving in my car, "Beep, Beep"

So my sister Emily is sick...  I feel so bad for her.  The doctor is treating her for Strep & Mono.  This is the second time she's had mono!  I jokingly told her to stop kissing boys.  LOL

Mike & I needed to rearrange our schedule today so I drove him to work so I could have the car.  Of course, now that leaves him getting out of work around 3:30 and sitting around, waiting for me to get out there - hopefully by 6:30 tonight. 

Now, we've talked about doing this on a regular basis...  However, I have mixed feelings about the situation... 

  1. I hate having him sit there for an extended period of time (but he said he was going to walk to Panera Bread - lucky! - and play on the computer)
  2. I do enjoy having the car so that I don't have to sit and wait & can have more freedom.  For example, this morning I got to relax a little & clean and come in on time!  Wow!!!
  3. Of course, this also means that we spend more in gas
What do you think?

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I Just Want to Be Ok by Sarah A. Manning is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Leaving Dallas

Hey! So Mike & I drove my brother & his 2 friends down to Dallas for the MLG convention. We were able to pick up the rental by 6:30 and were officially on the road around 8:30. We drove to Herrin, IL to pick someone up then went to the Hilton Anatole in Dallas, TX. I was pretty excited about driving the rental (a Ford Edge) and that Mike actually got tired enough to let me drive at least half the way. I pretty much drove for 8 hours, I think. I'm hoping to drive for about the same on the way back home. We woke up around 5am on Friday.. Mike slept about 3-4 hours in the car, I slept less than an hour - just couldn't sleep.

On Saturday, we got to Dallas around 11:30 & checked into he hotel. Daniel & his friends went to the MLG thing so Mike & I went to Dealey Plaza and looked at the JFK assassination location. It was pretty amazing to be there. We didn't attend the 6th Floor Book Depository Museum but we went in the gift shop and we saw a photo of Kennedy & Jacqueline having a private moment in the car as they were getting ready to leave the airport. Maybe it was because I was especially tired or being there but seeing that photo made me cry. We walked around the downtown area, took lots of photos & saw the Kennedy memorial. It was a little strange & disappointing but I guess it was kind of cool. (For those of you who only read my blog, I'll try to upload the best photos here but otherwise you'll be able to see them on FB.)

Afterwards, Mike & I got Denny's and went back to the room. We found Avatar on the HBO and watched it with Kenny & Erica. Daniel came back to the room to see the end of the movie & we all crashed! Around 1:30 in he morning he fire alarm went off. I know I smelled something greasy & smoky but I guess it was a false alarm. We all walked down the 12 flights of stairs & found the pool. People were gathering in the lobby so that's where we went.

Today, Mike & I spent some time just driving around Dallas & we drove to Arlington, TX and saw the Dallas Cowboy's stadium (who are getting their asses kicked by Green Bay right now). Mike kept referring to it as "Jerry World" (whatever that means). We didn't get to see the field because they were charging about $15 a person but we got some pretty cool photos of the exterior. Then, literally right "next door" was the Texas Rangers stadium so we drove around that.

So now we're on our way back home. We stopped at this place called Taco Cabana for food before we left & it was pretty good. I feel full & satisfied. :)

I hope you all had a good weekend. I'll be seeing you soon!

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I Just Want to Be Ok by Sarah A. Manning is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Good Morning

Good Morning!

It's a beautiful Friday morning and I'm up and ready to go.  Mike & I are going to be traveling with my brother to Dallas, Texas and are leaving tonight.  It's going to be about 15 hours (plus stops)!  I'm kind of excited because I like road trips and enjoy doing fun things with Mike.  My brother is be extra nice & handling most of the expenses (car, hotel) since we're driving him because his license was suspended.  Mike knows what that's like - lol.

So here I am..  Sitting at work...  Waiting for my shift to start..  I figured I'd drop a line.  Most of this week, my mornings have been for napping but I want to research a couple of things for our trip.  Mike wants to visit Daley Plaza and I'd like to plan our trip to see the sights on Saturday - even though we'll pretty much be dead asleep.  I'd also like to contact the car rental to find out exactly what car we're going to be renting and what is available for an upgrade (& if we can get an extra deal).

My mother is being wonderful (different from usual, right? *rolls eyes*) and is going to dogsit for the weekend.  Thank God Anna is out of heat and not sick - she must have gotten into something because she's completly fine now. :)

I hope you don't mind me going through my checklist of the things we need to bring.  I need to send a list to Mike so that he can pack up the few extra things when he gets home.

    For the dogs in Green Duffel Bag
  • Dog Food (about 6 big scoops) in a Ziplock
  • 2 Metal dog bowls (the small ones)
  • Small Ziplock baggie with a handful of treats
  • 2 Leashes (the pink & black)
  • 2 Collars with all tags

    For us in luggage
  • Socks & Underwear for Mike
  • Couple changes of clothes for Mike
  • Mike Meds (in large front pocket of luggage)
  • Excedrin

  • Computer into the bag
  • Car Charger
  • Purple lunch bag
    • mayo
    • meat
    • cheese
    • jelly
    • peanut butter
    • bread
  • The Sunchips
  • Any movies we might want to watch
    • Disturbia
    • Training Day
    • Panic Room
  • pillows

What do you think? I've already gotten all of our toiletries packed, all of my clothes... Everything else is pretty much close by so it should be easy. We're heading to get the rental right after work and should be on our way right afterwards. :) Ok. Now I'm getting excited!! It must be because of my list. I love lists... :)

Have a great weekend!!!

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I Just Want to Be Ok by Sarah A. Manning is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Happy November!

Well, the idea of November is pretty happy considering it's a big beginning to fall & all the special family holidays where we're allowed to stuff ourselves as much as we'd like!

Of course, whenever it seems as though things are going well, something happens.  It started yesterday when the neighbors who live above us decided to be rude and snap at Mike.  Mike said, "Good morning," and they ignored him.  When he held the door open since they were right behind us one of them said, "We can get the door ourselves."  Not a big deal.  Apparently, they never learned the valuable lesson of common courtesy or kindness.

So Mike & I went on with our day.  Mike specifically stated that he wasn't going to let the situation bug him.  When Mike got to work, they had a meeting.  Apparently, the company is downsizing & a few people were let go on Friday.  He is one of the "lucky" ones and has an opportunity to keep his job.  Now, granted, this is a blessing.  I'd rather have some income than none at all but this presents a few problems. 

1)  He needs to go back to the complete crap telemarketing job.  Where people curse and scream because Mike needs to do cold-calling and schedule appointments.  He hates that job.
2)  He is losing the raise that he previously earned.  This will cut back on about $400 gross a month.  Yeah.
3)  His "new" hours are 7am-3pm.  This is good for doing things in the afternoon/evening but since we're sharing one car, that means that I am getting to work around 6am and waiting for my shift to start at 9:30!

So when we got home, we smelled something in the hallway.  Sometimes our neighbor will put her bag of trash in the hallway so she can take it out the next day.  We opened the door to our apartment and it was overwhelming.  Yeah...  Anna was sick.  The cage is covered.  From what we can tell, Anna was standing all day.  Poor girl.  So a bath and taking her out for a 30 minute walk...  She vomited twice and didn't want to eat (which is good).

I guess it always comes in 3's right?

The positives...

1)  At least he still has a job.  This is nice & definately convenient.
2)  Mike has had reassurances at work that the telemarketing department is different now.  He's also had reassurances that he is a valued employee and that they will give him an opportunity to advance as soon as it is possible.
3)  Mike has an opportunity to go home and relax for a little while (or clean/cook/do laundry) before coming to pick me up.
4)  This does open up an evening window for a 2nd job for Mike if necessary.  It's a long day but it's there.
5)  The neighbors upstairs really have nothing to do with us.  If they want to continue to be angry people, fine.  We don't want to be mean.  We can just ignore them and be better (I won't be slamming the door in their faces like they do to me)
6)  Anna didn't get sick again last night and seemed ok this morning.

So we're trying to stay positive.  We're trying to take it easy.  It's hard and extremely frustrating but...  It is what it is.  Life is a pain in the ass.

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I Just Want to Be Ok by Sarah A. Manning is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Happy Thoughts

So whenever I write to you I try to make sure I'm in a positive frame of mind.  Unfortunately, most of the time, I'm not very happy or positive.  It's nice to get these moments of happiness to forget the sadness that I feel sometimes.

Anyway, my sister Kate came over last night.  We had dinner and watched movies and today we went to a pumpkin farm.  We saw a lot of animals, went through a corn maze, had some good food & got a couple of pumpkins.  There wasn't a very good selection this year but I guess that's what you get for going 1 week before Halloween... 

I'm planning on making dinner for my family next weekend..  What's a good family meal that's not pasta?  I'm kind of leaning towards a roasted chicken with veggies and my red potatoes.  What do you think?

I hope you all had a good weekend.  I'll write again soon!

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I Just Want to Be Ok by Sarah A. Manning is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Need to Clean

Hello!  It's been a few days.  How are you doing?

I'm actually feeling pretty good.  The dogs are doing much better and we're all able to sleep at night.  Mike & I have been having good conversations and are working together on things...  It's so nice to be communicating so well and being able to share the daily responsibilities.  It's helping me feel better about things.

We're going to try to head to the pumpkin farm this weekend with my sisters.  They're pretty busy on the weekends though so I'm not sure when we'll be going.  Probably Sunday afternoon?  That will give Mike time on Saturday to help his mother with her television (she needs a new one & blew him off last weekend) and get the car cleaned out.  Maybe we'll head over to my mom's and they'll let us use their Shop-Vac so we don't have to pay someone to vaccum the car out really good.

I need to be more organized at home.  It's driving me nuts!  When we first moved in, we didn't have anything & it was great!  No clutter..  No mess..  Now, we've got things everywhere.  I'd love to take an entire week to literally go through everything and throw out the things we don't want & need.  I mean..  Our storage unit is packed (with what?  I don't even remember) and our "den" is packed...  There are some memorabilia things that we should display, lots of photos, lots of things for scrapbooking...  I need it organized and I need to throw things out.  If anyone is interested in helping, let me know!  You can keep anything I'm going to toss.

On the other hand, there are still some things that we need.  We need a kitchen table & sturdy chairs, a sturdy patio set (chairs & a table would be a nice touch), a coffee maker (according to Mike - not Mr. Coffee??), a salad spinner, another sheet set, plastic hangers (I like to have all the same kind - sorry, I'm picky) & a tv stand (strong enough to hold what we've got & hopefully a new one in the next 2 years).  Oh yeah..  A king size headboard would be nice too.  We're going garage sale shopping next spring.  Mom, let me know when that neighborhood one comes up!

We've also talked briefly about painting.  Especially since we're planning on spending a few years here, it would be nice to add a splash of color.  If you have any opinions, let me know!

I've been wanting to go to church & enjoy it when I do go but I'm so lazy about it...  I don't want to get up when my alarm goes off or sleep too long or I get up & shower then don't want to do anything or go anywhere.  I'm sure it's a bit of depression slipping in so I've got to try to break free.  My mom invited me to a women's bible study group and I think it would be interesting to go (if for no other reason than getting to see my mom)...  It's Thursday nights, which mostly works out..  Why am I so indecisive?!?!

Well, I'm going to go now.  Hope you all enjoy your day!

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I Just Want to Be Ok by Sarah A. Manning is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Noisy Neighbors

So the people upstairs were loud - again - last night.  I don't understand it.  How can you be so loud?  Mike was out walking the dogs & someone came over & buzzed them.  They let the person in and as soon as the person got up to their apartment there was a loud thud!  WTF  Did they just drop their free-weights on the floor?

We're trying to live better lives...  We're trying to be good tenants, pay our bills and live a happy, quiet life.  They're just set on being assholes.

This morning, we notice a ticket on our car for no village sticker.  I didn't realize that we needed one although I guess I should have considering how nice of a city we live in - plus I could have asked mom and she would have told me.  But yeah..  Are any of the other cars without village stickers sitting with tickets on them?  Nah.  Just us.  There was a car parked in the space next to us - no sticker, no ticket.  Plus the envelope that had been sealed was already torn open.  Now that's interesting.  Oh, and the neighbors upstairs?  They were already gone for the day.

So yeah..  I called my mom.  She said she'll contact the officer and get more information.  This may be interesting.  I'm glad I have a connection so that I can at least figure out if it was called in.

So not that we need anything else to pay for right now.  Another $40 for the ticket & a village sticker which probably only costs about $20 (I'm hoping).  This is going to be a tight month.  We need to watch our budget and we'll be fine - especially with the OT coming up due to the holidays.

I guess that's about it.  I hope you all have a wonderful Friday!!

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I Just Want to Be Ok by Sarah A. Manning is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Monday, October 11, 2010

A Better Person

So I've been thinking that there are a lot of things that I'd like to do to make myself a better, happier person.  I want to feel like I'm a good, responsible, loving dog (pet) owner...

For example:
  • I'd love to wake up early in the morning, take the dogs for a walk, enjoy the peace of the morning before most people are up & out.
  • I'd love to be a "neat freak".  Everything in it's place..  Everything clean..  No clutter!  Wow.  Wouldn't that be great?!
  • I want to be healthy.  Eat healthy.  Be active (walking the dogs every morning has a double-bonus sort of thing...  Tackling two desires at once!).
  • I want to spend time training my dogs every day.  Chewy has so much that he needs to work on and I've failed to be on top of his training..
  • I want to do something special with Anna.  She's such a great dog and I would love to have her receive an honor.  I'm thinking about getting an AKC Canine Good Citizen certification.
I know that all of this sounds pretty easy...  I have just been so down that I don't feel like doing anything other than sleeping and doing nothing.

Have a great week!  I'll write more soon.

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Wednesday, October 6, 2010

See you on the flip side!

So last night, Mike & I are getting ready for bed when I take a moment to see how Anna's paw is doing.  It's pretty swollen and bruised (due to the poking & probing that the stupid vet did on Saturday) and I'm about to get up when I notice her ear...  It's covered in blood!  Apparently, she scratched the skin tag/whatever it is off and it started bleeding profusely.  The blood was everywhere and took about 45 minutes to clean & attempt to bandage.  Even with the bandage on, it was still bleeding.  We tried pressure, cleaning, band-aids, bandages...  It didn't stop until about 5am.  We had it covered for most of the time but she was able to get the bandaging off so we put the cone of shame on her for the night.  Needless to say, I didn't sleep well.  Our walls are splattered with blood & it looks like someone was murdered.  She shakes her head so violently.

Anyway...  Before we left for work, we noticed that it had coagulated and put the cone of shame on her.  She'll spend the day out of the cage but be spending a lot of time with the cone.  Hopefully, the swelling & bruising on her foot will subside soon.  I have it wrapped just in case.

I had a McDonald's breakfast this morning.  The sandwich (Egg McMuffin) was pretty good but I'm starting to taste the aftertaste of the hasbrown...  Ugh..  I hate the feeling & aftertaste of them.  They taste so good when you're eating them but when you're finished it's sooooo gross.  I can feel my insides screaming because of all the grease and processed food.  Ew.  I'll be having some left-over mexican food (tortillas, black beans, rice, ground beef & guac) for lunch so hopefully I won't continue to feel the greasiness.  Plus I have an apple & peanut butter...  Yum!  I've been liking that snack.  Mom, did you ever cut up apples with peanut butter for me when I was little?  I remember the celery...

Anyway, I'm listening to my playlist right now. Jason Mraz "I'm Yours" song just came on.  I like this song so much!  :)  I think it's his acoustic version.  I love acoustic versions of songs.

Well, I guess that's about all I have for today.  I have one of my massive headaches so I'm going to go rest my eyes for a little while.  See you on the flip side!

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I Just Want to Be Ok by Sarah A. Manning is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Monday, October 4, 2010

It's that time of year!

Well, October now seems to be in full swing!  It's the beginning of the first full week and the weather is definately fall weather!  Every time someone asks me what my favorite season is, I jump to say spring but then fall comes around and I feel conflicted.  I love the crisp, cool air, the changing colors, wearing jeans and sweaters...  The sun is usually shining which helps with my emotions.  I love gathering together with family for the holidays - especially Thanksgiving!  This time of year makes me think of the next and I get excited that there are new opportunities out there.  Of course, eveyone makes their "New Year Resolutions" but really, you can make a resolution any time of the year.  I think it's the feeling of starting fresh that gets everyone pumped up for new goals at the beginning of the year.  It's like you haven't failed yet.

With me..  I feel that fall is pretty fresh.  I took a short walk from the Target to work this morning and started thinking about how much I like taking photos and how cool it could be to have a year in photos.  I think I'd like to do that...  Take at least one photo every day and post it her maybe...  I could write a little blurb about the photo, why I took it, what it made me think about...  What do you think?

I've joined a book club!  I'm so excited to be attending my first meeting on Friday...  Of course, since it's October, we're reading Mary Shelley's Frankenstein.  The way that this book club works is that we read the book then meet to discuss it.  I got the book a couple of weeks ago and am having a hard time reading it.  I'm only on page 38 and it's sooooooo boring.  I feel like such a jerk!  I'm hoping that if I struggle through a little more, it will get interesting and I'll be able to finish it by Friday.  Of course, I'm using my extra time at work today writing this blog so I guess that's not helping!  LOL

Anywho...  There's a lot coming up this weekend.  Book Club on Friday, Dentist on Saturday & the Chicago Marathon on Sunday.  My sister-in-law's husband is running in it again & there's a party afterwards.  We missed the party last year for whatever reason I cannot remember and are set to go this time.

This week is Customer Service week at work.  We've been in business for 22 years and pride ourselves in providing that extra special customer experience.  Here's a little tidbit from our CEO!

We are also celebrating the 22nd Anniversary of ConferencePlus this month.  It is a significant accomplishment that ConferencePlus has been able to thrive through many changes in the past 22 years.  It is through the commitment of our dedicated employees that we are able to adapt and change as our Customers and the competitive environment in which we operate change.  Continuing to focus on exceptional Customer Service has been a hallmark of ConferencePlus in the past and will be something we focus on continually.

A high quality customer experience is the foundation of all that we do at ConferencePlus.  In order to provide this type of service, it is important that we enjoy our work and have fun in our jobs.  When we succeed in this critical effort, it is readily apparent in our voices, and customers and co-workers alike will take notice.  They may even say "you sound like you're in a great mood!" or thank you for your upbeat attitude.  Your mood translates into everything you do; if you find ways to enjoy what you do every day, it will show.  Ultimately, this makes our customers experience even better!

Customer Service is not just about providing a high-quality service that works.  Customer Service is also about responding to customer inquiries with accurate information, addressing any problems that occur in a timely fashion and constantly striving to improve.  Spend some time this week thinking about your interactions with customers as well as what Customer Service means to you.  Each of us has a role to play in servicing our customers, and the experiences you have as a consumer can serve as powerful examples of what exceptional customer service and not-so-exceptional customer service looks like.

Since we cease to exist as a company without our customers, it is imperative that we focus on providing value in everything we do.  We need to remember that customers have a choice, and we need to take every opportunity available to make customers believe they have made the right choice with ConferencePlus.

I am so proud to be a part of a company that recognizes and prides itself in customer service excellence and excellent employee relations.  I thank God for this opportunity and hope that I will be able to continue to learn and grow with such a great company.

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I Just Want to Be Ok by Sarah A. Manning is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Da Bears

So the Chicago Bears are playing again tonight..  The game started around 7:30pm (CST) against the New York Giants.  Since it's October, it's Breast Cancer Awareness month and the guys are all wearing pink gloves, pink on their shoes, a pink sash (I even asked my husband if they were playing "flag football" tonight) and there are special hats with pink on them.  Now, as you know, I am not an avid sports fan..  I began watching the game with my husband because that's what he wanted to do.  Unfortunately, there were a few plays that even I could recognize as being terrible by the Bears and I decided to take a long, hot shower and give you guys a head's up as to what's going on in my mind this weekend.  As an update, Cutler got a pretty bad concussion and is out for the rest of the game..  The score is currently 10-3 (Giants) so my husband isn't very happy.


We took Anna to the vet yesterday...  The vet attempted to take a sample of the cells in Anna's growth on her foot and didn't really seem successful.  I'm not sure I like this vet..  She's pretty condescending..  Mike didn't like her either.  However, assuming the samples are good, we should have some results by the end of the week.

I'm pretty down..  I know that's not too abnormal for me but it's still something to note.

I guess that's about all for tonight.  I hope you're all doing well.  Talk to you again soon.

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I Just Want to Be Ok by Sarah A. Manning is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Strange Dreams

I have strange dreams.  They're usually very vivid and I can usually remember them when I wake up.  Over the past few years, they've been kind of violent.  There's a lot of running and fighting..  I'm usually the main character of my dreams, running and fighting to protect someone.  However, last night was a nice change of tempo.  I was shopping! :)  I know, every girl's dream!  Anyway, I'm supposedly shopping at Costco but it's like a variation of Costco, Target and IKEA.  I went in with a very short list and got only what was on the list.  These items were small, not in bulk so I guess I was shopping in the Target-y area of the store.  When I was getting ready to check out, I realized that I had left my coupon somewhere so I got an associate to help me find it & when I did, I realized that there was an envelope from my father.  It had a short note on a colored, striped piece of paper (not rainbow but brown and green) that was the top page of a new pad of paper (the rest of the pages were white with rainbow colored lines) & hundreds of dollars asking if I would grab him some of his favorite cookies.  Then I saw a note on a piece of paper with an XBox 360 controller on it from my brother asking me to get some snack things.  It said something about wanting healthy snacks but then asked for those square chewy caramels and Christmas cookies.  So I continued my shopping with my now personal shopper guy and he brought me to the bulk snack area.  It was HUGE.  I found the caramels and had to crawl into my father's crawlspace to find all the cookies.  I also found Christmas cards and was looking for Christmas postcards but couldn't find any.  So I got out of the crawlspace and into a basement-type area where there was a lady there with a blanket and a friend & she was asking if someone could write nicely with iodine.  Apparently she wanted someone to write a name on the blanket she was carrying with iodine.  Yeah...  Then I woke up.

Of course, after I have dreams that are exceptionally strange and seem to flow, I want to search for answers.  What does it mean?  Why did I dream about that?  I find myself (with this dream anyway) able to place why I was dreaming about certain things or people..  I dreampt about the Christmas cards & postcards because I read something on Wednesday about buying Christmas postcards to save money because they're cheaper to mail than cards.  I dreampt about the Christmas selection of goodies and decorations because I was in Target last weekend & saw them plus I talked to my mom about the fact that Christmas decorations are already showing up in stores.  I dreampt about my father writing me a letter because I've been thinking a lot about the fact that he doesn't write me.  I dreampt about my brother and his XBox 360 controller because I think he was playing games with Mike right when I was going to bed.  I guess my dad's crawlspace was there because I miss being a part of the family.  Also, the crawlspace is where the Christmas decorations are stored.  That's about all I can figure.  I don't know why I dreampt (sp?) about my father giving me hundreds of dollars or why the colors on the paper that he wrote on were so vivid...

Other than my strange dreams, there's been more that I've been thinking about.  Yesterday, I got to meet up with a friend that I haven't seen since we graduated high school.  As someone so kindly pointed out, "Wow, you graduated in 2001?  That was a loooooong time ago!"  Yeah.  It's been 9 years.  So she's in town for a friend's wedding and we got together for lunch yesterday.  We went to Golden Corral since it was cheap, has good food and her 3 year old would be ok there and talked a lot.  She looked beautiful like always and was easy to talk to.  She also brought a girl named Katie who was going to watch her son while she & Hallie (the bride) went to get mani/pedi after lunch.  It was really great to catch up with her and learn a little more about her life.  I miss having friends.

That reminds me of something that my husband said the other day.  We were talking about the Bears/Packers game and he said, "Well, I would have liked to have a party but you have to have friends first."  I don't know why but it made us both start laughing so hard!  It's sad but true.  We don't really have any friends and we're mostly too depressed to keep in touch with anyone.  I know that Mike used to be really good friends with a couple of people but he always did the "work".  Whenever they did anything, Mike had to go to them.  Whenever anything was planned, Mike did the calling to bring everyone together.  I know, it doesn't seem like him but it was.  So we moved away and Mike became more depressed and wasn't able to keep in touch.  When we came back we met up with them and it's like they've become different people.  Then something happened and they haven't spoken since.  As far as I go, I find myself stuck between sharing too much information about myself too early or not wanting to share anything.  It's like I don't understand the bounds of a friendship and it's almost like I don't want to waste my time with a friendship that's just going to be a superficial friendship.  I want to be able to talk to someone, have them listen, give advice or thoughts and I want to be the someone that my friend can come to to talk, have someone (me) listen & I want to be able to give thoughts/advice if the friend desires it.  I've had a few friends like that in my life but something happens..  With Julie, Mike & I moved back to the Chicagoland area and we're falling away from each other.  We don't see each other almost every day and so we don't share anything any more - not really anyway.  I have a couple girls here at work that I think I could be really good friends with and I'm just trying to take it slow..  I mean, I'm not really here to make friends but it's nice to have a couple people I can talk to a little & who are willing to share things with me too.

Anyway..  Sorry about that tangent..

I did want to say that there are some days that I really want to write for all of you and let you know how I'm feeling - especially when I'm feeling really down - but I know that there are some things that you just don't want to know - and probably shouldn't.  I guess this goes back to my "bounds" comment earlier.  What are the bounds of this blogging relationship?  I know I post this to Facebook and I e-mail it to a couple of people..  But I guess there are just things that should be left unsaid.

I hope all is well for you, my reader(s), and I hope you have a great weekend.

~ S

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I Just Want to Be Ok by Sarah A. Manning is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.