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.