Wednesday, January 27, 2010

100 from 30

On January 23, 2010 I celebrated my 30th birthday. 30 years. Wow. Really? I don't feel any different from, say, last year . I still don't think I'm old enough to have the responsibilities that I have (home, cars, KIDS!). Fellow birthday party attenders kept asking me if I was "okay" with turning 30. Ha! Of course I am. Why wouldn't I be? I can't stop it from coming. If I could, I wouldn't. Besides most of my friends hit that milestone before me. I got to "suffer" with them, so when it was my turn it didn't bother me at all. (Now, ask me again in 30 years!) Age is just a number. And to me, the bigger your number the more stories and laughs and memories and blessings you've acquired! I've been more than blessed in my short 30 years here on earth. I look forward to many more, healthy, fun-filled years, if that's what I'm given.

About a year ago I had the distinct pleasure of taking a workshop that left an impression that will (probably) stay with me forever. An imprint on my heart, as a familiar song puts it. From that class I also gained a life long friend. That friend is the one who gave me this idea: to write down 100 Truths about me. It was fun. Of course, it's about my favorite subject. Ha ha...only kidding...kinda. 100 Truths. Ok, that shouldn't be too hard, right? It was harder than I expected.

Well, this is what I ended up with and I thought I'd share them with you, Mr. and Ms. Blog Reader. 100 Truths from the last 30 years of my life. Hope you enjoy them.

100 Things about Me
1. I am Macey Dionne Wilson Highberger: a woman, daughter, wife, mother, and friend. An Aquarius, born on January 23, 1980, a balmy 80 degree winter day in Tulsa, OK at 12:17am.
2. I am an only child who hates the stigma associated with that phrase…even though it’s true.
3. I love making people happy and I try every day, even if it’s just to smile and say “hi”.
4. I love planning for parties and events, including food, drinks and decorations and making sure that everything is just right.
5. I enjoy cooking. I like working from recipes or experimenting on my own.
6. I love having a clean house…but not necessarily cleaning it.
7. I love buying new things, even if it’s just new to me.
8. I love making cookies and candy at Christmas, dressing up for Halloween and popping fireworks on the Fourth of July.
9. Although I love being around a lot of people, I also love the time that I’m alone.
10. I love the smell of a roast on the stove, a wood burning fireplace, pinion wood, fresh cut grass, a spring rain, and scented candles (although I’m picky about the scent: Yankee Candles Sun & Sand and Beach Walk!).
11. I love to hear beautiful music, a catchy beat, my children belly laughing, thunder from an approaching storm, “I love you”, the dinner bell, and a sincere “thank you”.
12. I love touching the softest blanket, warm water, the skin of loved ones, people’s souls, and my bed after a long day.
13. I love seeing people at their best, the interactions of strangers, the sun, my family happy, red poppies, green grass, changing autumn leaves, my kids’ smiling faces, and money in my bank.
14. I love tasting great food, slightly spicy salsa with thin, salty chips, cheese enchiladas, a cold beer on a hot day, anything my mom cooks, and king crab legs and fillets on Christmas Eve.
15. I love feeling appreciated, special, wanted, happy, silly, smart, excited, well rested, anticipation, and loved.
16. I love the warmth of the beach and the sound of the waves.
17. I love planting new flowers in the spring and getting my hands dirty.
18. I love bringing the outside indoors by opening windows and having fresh cut flowers around.
19. I love the look of a made bed and towels folded and laying the same direction.
20. I love people who inspire greatness and expect it in themselves and others.
21. I love driving with my windows down and my music on…loud.
22. I love a warm day at the pool, lake, or ocean; playing in the water and relaxing with friends and family over a cold one.
23. I love playing sports, competing, sweating, and being active.
24. I work hard to play hard.
25. I believe that Jesus Christ is God's only son, conceived by the holy spirit, born by a virgin. I believe he lived a sinless life and died on a cross as a perfect ransom for the forgiveness of ALL sins, so that we may live in unity eternally with our Heavenly King.
26. I like coffee in the morning, water throughout the day, and a glass of wine with dinner.
27. I love the feeling of being weightless. I dream of being able to fly or breathe underwater.
28. I love the show LOST.
29. I love finding great deals.
30. I love being pampered.
31. I love new shoes.
32. I love when people come to me for advice and value my opinion.
33. I love being pregnant.
34. I love holding a baby until he/she falls asleep.
35. I love watching my children sleep, learn, and use their abilities.
36. I love going to girls’ night out.
37. I love playing Guitar Hero.
38. I love watching a movie while eating popcorn with a pickle.
39. I love going to bed early.
40. I love lying in clean sheets.
41. I love sleeping with the fan on high (even in the dead of winter), snuggling under the blankets, and holding on to my huggy pillow.
42. I love cleaning an empty house with my music blaring.
43. I love big earrings, glossy lip gloss, pink cheeks, and long eyelashes.
44. I love feeling girly by wearing pointy high heels and nice jeans (and paying for good quality).
45. I love giving people presents.
46. I love letting people know that they are special and I care about them.
47. I love performing (even if only in my own mind or for my family to roll their eyes at).
48. I love people who know how to drive (according to my standards, of course).
49. I like the toilet paper roll when it flips over.
50. I love when people correctly use “and I” and “and me”.
51. I love finding the uniqueness in everyone, but think myself ordinary.
52. I love when people can take care of themselves.
53. I enjoy not taking things too seriously. (Seriously.)
54. I love anything with icing on it.
55. I love planning, creating, stressing out, problem-solving, fixing, finally finishing, and giving people outrageous cakes.
56. I love a white cake with white icing.
57. I love a hot cookie (or brownie) with cold ice cream.
58. I love licking the bowl.
59. I prefer emails over phone calls and talking in person over all else.
60. I love being tan.
61. I love being a human-airplane for my children.
62. I love making shampoo Mohawks in the bathtub.
63. I prefer limited lighting to overhead lighting.
64. I like being organized, but find it hard to get that way.
65. I love being busy.
66. I love drinking water that’s just kinda cold.
67. I love spending quality time with friends and family.
68. I love people who are not self absorbed.
69. I love when people can laugh at themselves. We are all just clowns dressed as humans, faking perfection around others while trying to hide the big, red nose on our face.
70. I love to pretend I’m on a stage and dance around the house.
71. I love being rewarded for doing well.
72. I like marking things off of a list.
73. I love people who can listen with an open mind, critique with compassionate words, and accept differences with an empathetic heart.
74. I love people who can accept and minimize their weaknesses and can focus and magnify their strengths. (I'm trying to be that person.)
75. I believe that good things don’t always happen to good people and bad things don’t always happen to bad people.
76. Other than medicine (ha!), I believe authentic laughter is the best medicine. Nothing re-aligns perception like being able to laugh during a time of adversity. And more often than not, it’s the ability to laugh at ourselves and our shortcomings that is the cure all.
77. I think a dish that can be put in the sink, can just as easily be put in the dishwasher.
78. I love winning, but not at all cost. I would take a mentally and physically well played game any day over a sloppy win.
79. I find it hard to rest. There’s always something that needs to be done or read and if I’m not doing it, I feel lazy.
80. I believe that acknowledging people and agreeing with them are two different things. I always try to acknowledge and reserve my right to agree.
81. I believe you can’t love if you don’t love yourself.
82. I think too much time is wasted being regretful.
83. I get my feelings hurt easily.
84. I often think this thing called “life” is just plain weird. There’s this magnitude of fragile human shells running around earth, dazedly going to their jobs day in and day out, driving these strange 4 wheeled vehicles (often too fast). Each one trying to outdo the other. Always in a hurry, going from place to place. Then they wind up at their dwelling place where they put food into their bodies (often unhealthy), go to bed to rest that shell (often too late). Just to get up and do it all over again the next day. They don’t take care of their bodies and are constantly searching for things to make them happy and for their purpose of being on this earth. It’s just weird.
85. I feel like someone is always watching me.
86. I wonder about weird if I was meant to be here at this exact time. If my parents never got married is it actually possible that I could still be here today? (I know, probably not, but I still wonder.)
87. I think sweating and soreness is a direct indicator of how hard I worked. And I love both.
88. I always think there is an opportunity to be discovered (like, for a movie!).
89. I fully believe that every single person on this earth deserves to be loved…some more than others.
90. I think the companies who put their widgets in that impenetrable, harder-than-crap-to-open-even-with-scissors, kind of plastic…should be excluded from society.
91. I appreciate and recognize when people go out of their way for me.
92. I have a hard time staying on task. I am easily sidetracked by other projects, requests and desires. They all seem important to me.
93. I think skunks smell good and often get their smell confused with the smell of fresh brewed coffee.
94. I would rather endure quick, intense pain than long, moderate pain.
95. I love an 80 degree day, being outside and grilling out.
96. I like taking notes, but rarely refer back to them.
97. I like taking my time on the weekends…getting up late, making breakfast, cleaning up and eventually getting in the shower.
98. I love running in the rain. It makes me feel like a kid again. It's the only time I enjoy running. 99. I always try to look nice.
100. The best compliment I ever received was that I make the place better just by showing up.

30 years.

So far, so good.

Until next time!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Seepy Bear, Grumpy Bear

I don't know what it is about sleeping, or rather the lack thereof that makes me so mental. I know that I only have this limited amount of time allotted for sleeping (not to mention it's usually not enough to begin with). So if I don't drift off to la la land right away, then in the back of my mind all I can see is my alarm ringing at 7:15, kids waking at their normal time and requiring breakfast, and Gavin still needing to get to school on time. Unfortunately, there's no dvr pause button on life so that I can catch up...and THAT is what makes me mental. Life still continues whether I've met my FDA allowance for sleep or not. (I know the FDA doesn't regulate sleep. It was a joke, so please, no emails or notes correcting me.)

Actually, the whole science of sleep is fascinating to me. Every time I can't sleep, the next morning I'm usually thinking "My brain just wouldn't shut off. I couldn't make the night time turn from Sleepy Lane to Dream World Drive." And I have no idea what inhibits that turn. I have my turn signal on well in advance. I apply steady pressure to my break to slow myself down for it. And I sufficiently check traffic to make sure that the turn is safe. And yet, sometimes, my car won't turn. It stays stuck on Sleepy Lane. And the harder I try to turn onto Dream World Drive the more impossible it is to find.

And this is what happened on Saturday night.

A group of us girls went to OKC to celebrate our friend's upcoming wedding. This bachelorette weekend included an afternoon of pole aerobics. (Yes, I said pole aerobics. And yes, it is what you think it is...but more on that later.) After aerobics we checked into our hotel room. 12 girls. 2 hotel rooms! Each room slept 6. There were two queen beds in one room and a pull out full sized bed in the living room. Two girls got in early and staked their claim early. The four that followed behind decided to let the bride-to-be have a bed. (I know, we are so nice. :)) So it was down to a friendly game of rock, paper, scissors for the the remaining three. Elimination style. 1 gets the bed with the bride-to-be and the other 2 get the pull out bed. And guess who was first to be eliminated? Yep. Me.

So after a night out on the town celebrating the upcoming nuptials it was time to return to the hotel and hit the hay. Ugh. My bed is usually an inviting place at the end of the day. This pull out bed, was not. Sarah (the other unfortunate loser), and I readied our bed. We put a flat sheet on the bottom (no fitted sheet). We had another flat sheet, 2 pillows and a down comforter. I think our comforter was thicker than our mattress.

After our goodnights, we turned off the lights. By this time is was 2:30 and as exhausted as I was, I knew Mr. Sandman was quickly approaching. But I was wrong. I had a few problems.
1.) Our mattress was so thin and so small (at least smaller than what I'm used to) that I was worried about flopping around and flinging Sarah off the bed. Every move could be felt. I swore she could feel my heart beating from her side of the bed.

2.) Our pillows were those big puffy ones that look fun, but when you lay your head on them, they smash down like a pancake. And really there's no point to having a pillow when you're head is the same level as the mattress. So, I started getting stuffy.

3.) When I get stuffy I have a unnatural need to clear my throat.

4.) Although the room was perfectly pitch black it was also perfectly quiet...too quiet. Sean and I sleep with our ceiling fan on high all year long. As if that wasn't enough for air circulation and noise we also have an oscillating fan that sounds like a jet engine taking off in our bedroom. It's awesome. (But somehow, strangely enough, although it reduces most noises, I can still hear the sounds of footed pajama feet swishing across the carpet as a kid comes in the room.)

5.) I can't even guess how many doors I heard slam shut after we'd turned off the lights. Doors slamming, people running up and down the hall and at least 3 sirens going off, all kept me from turning onto Dream World Drive.

I could see my turn. I could smell it. I could feel it. I was prepped for it and I couldn't make it happen!

and finally 6.) I was hot.

All of these things combined for a mental Macey questioning if she would ever fall asleep. If she was going to have to drive 5 girls back to Tulsa totally sleep deprived. For the safety sake of my passengers, and for the love of God I needed to fall asleep!!!!

Somewhere between 3:30 and 4 (I'm not exactly sure because I refused to look at the clock), I finally decided to get up. I needed to fix all of these problems because they weren't fixing themselves. And Mr. Sandman was of no help. I also have this inner struggle that I think that actually getting up is somehow conceding to the anti-sleep goblins. If I just stay in bed, I will somehow beat them at their own game and I will...I WILL eventually fall asleep. But I usually end up conceding...and usually hours too late.

So, I got up. I got a drink. (Water, thank you very much.) I found the wall thermostat, turned it to COOL and punched it down to 66. On my walk back to bed, the air kicked on, a familiar and comforting sound. I felt better already. As I laid back down into my thin, narrow bed in my silent room I realized what I needed. I needed some ambiance. Some iPhone generated white noise to drown out all annoying, Mr. Sandman halting, turn preventing sounds. So I grabbed my phone. (Yes! There IS an app for that!) I pulled up the Apps Store, and before I knew it I had my very own oscillating fan laying on my pillow. Well, the noise of the fan, at least. It was EXACTLY what I needed. It was able to drown out the slamming doors, the footsteps, the sirens, and most importantly of all, my own thoughts.

And it worked.

I quickly found the street I was looking for and turned safely onto it. Dream World Drive.

If you have any issues sleeping or staying asleep, let me recommend some white noise. iPhone app produced, or not, it could be just what your brain needs to stay soundly asleep. I would, however, steer clear of anything having to do with water. Those usually make me need to pee. (I kid you not.) And thunderstorms make me think there is actually a storm outside. Then I have this weird urge to turn on the tv to make sure there are no tornadoes, which just isn't good for my sleep patterns either! But a nice, steady white noise sound might be just the thing to keep you from getting mental, like me. After all, a sleepy mind is a terrible thing.

So sleep well...and...

Until next time.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Drum Roll Please...(no, really, do it...I'll wait...)

You're still not doing it. Seriously, do it. Ok, there you go. Thank you.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Children of all ages (or actually only those who can read),

I would like to officially introduce you, blog reader, to the new, beautiful, recently back from face-lift surgery...Macey's Day Parade. If you have clicked on my link or actually typed my blog address into your address bar, then you are now viewing the newest sparkly addition to my already sparkly life. (I'll pause as you take it all in. Take a moment. I understand. Beauty is splendid thing.)

Okay. Moving on.

I had, not only the honor, but the ultimate privilege of finding a dream come true of a lady to help this novice blogger create a beautiful blog that's more, err, "me". And although I am still not convinced that she didn't secretly implant video cameras into my life, she totally pegged me. After filling out a short questionnaire it was like she'd known me my whole life. It was perfect. It was exactly what was I was looking for. I love it. I love Jackie. I hope it brings you joy as well.

If you're looking for some super fab, super easy, super affordable blog design, please contact Jackie. I have no doubt she'll blow you away, just as she did me. (You can click the link below or the super cute little button over on the sidebar.) :D

Thank you, Jackie!!!!!

OH! And thank you Jason for all of this! It WAS my Christmas present after all. WOO HOO!!!!

Until next time!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Resolutions Shmesolutions

My 2010 Resolution: "I will finish everything that I........."

Ha ha! Although a funny Liz Lemon line, it's true. It hasn't been more apparent to me than these days I've been home with Zoey, that I have a hard time focusing! And I can't even blame it on her. Don't get me wrong, I'm extremely proactive. In fact, that's probably my exact problem; I'm TOO proactive. I always took pride in my multi-tasking abilities. But upon deeper evaluation, I realized that it's my multi-tasking abilities that get me into so much trouble. Why I'm late for everything. (Dad's standards if you're not 10 minutes early, then you're late.) It's why I have a sudden urge to put one more load of clothes into the washing machine.

In fact, I believe it's my wannabe super efficient, systematic, highly proficient brain that gets in my way. (HA!! Riiiiiiiiight.) My mind is always trying to put things into the most logical order. I need to make coffee, do laundry, put up the clean clothes, make cake balls, write on my blog, return emails, etc. Ok-systematic brain ramps up-vrrrrrrrrr (that's the sound it makes). I need to get the laundry going so that it is...well...going. I want it in the dryer before I leave the house so I don't have soggy clothes hanging out in there mildewing...again. So I go to start the laundry and notice that Sean has dumped the kids' snack bowls in there. I grab those and take them to the dishwasher. Ugh. Dishwasher needs unloaded. I start to unload it and see that one of the cups needs dried off, so I grab a towel but it's dirty. I go to throw it in the laundry room so I can add it to my pile.
But while in the laundry room I realize I never started the washing machine. I put all of the laundry in and start it. While putting the laundry detergent back, I noticed that there are clothes hanging up that need to be put away. I take them and hang them up. While in my closet I find Zoey's shoes which don't belong there, so I take them to her room. Then my stomach growls and I remember I wanted coffee. I go back to the kitchen to make coffee and find the dishwasher wide open. What the???? Why is the.......OH yeah, I was unloading that, wasn't I???? Sigh. Ok, back to unloading it. But wait! Really, I should get the cake started and in the oven for the cake balls since it takes 35 minutes to cook, then it has to cool....arg...still don't have my coffee......AHHHHHHH!!!!!!

And that's how it goes.

Rarely does anything get totally finished because I'm easily distracted. (As mom and dad make eye contact across the room and nod in agreement.) I'm now convinced that I'm secretly a character in the "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie" book series. But my version is called "If You Give Macey Something To Do". It's a much more frustrating reality than the silly mouse wanting a little milk with his cookie!

So my focus this year, along with the usual "eat better", "read more", "go to bed earlier" to focus on finishing what I've started. NO MATTER IF THE LAUNDRY HAS BEEN STARTED OR NOT! NO MATTER IF I FIND 14 OTHER THINGS THAT NEED TO BE DONE WHILE I'M DOING MY FIRST THING! (Caps added for emphasis, not yelling.) Stay the course, shall be my motto.

Which just reminded me of the scene in The Lion King.
Young Simba: What's a motto?
Timon: Nothing. What's a motto with you?!

I've have attempted a short tourist travel down this road before. The road marked with focus, and organization, and completion. And I felt like I was met with the feeling of missing out on the other roads that I knew needed to be traveled down. But I'm doing it. I'm doing it! This year, I'm totally doing it. Wait! What was I doing again? Oh!

Besides, if I fail, there's always next year for resolutions shmesolutions!

Until next time. Mwah!

Simply Impossible

A recent sermon given before a snow filled Christmas left me with some comforting realizations that I'd like to share. Thank you Pastor Gary for loving us so much that you openly share your heart with us each Sunday. It's a beautiful thing to watch God working through you. Thank you for keeping it real.

Jesus' life was bracketed by two absolute, unequivocal, utter, amazing impossibilities: a virgin's womb and an empty tomb.

You can't have Christmas without Easter.

During the weeks leading up to Christmas Sean and I watched some of the Discovery Channel's stories on the life of Jesus. One naysayer's remark stuck out to me. He said, (paraphrased) Jesus, born of a virgin, impregnated by God, is impossible. As I was dipping cake balls (which is really all I did during the month of December), I literally laughed out loud (LLOL). I said, "Well, yeah, DUH!". I mean, to me it was like debating against your husband's restaurant choice on Saturday night by saying, "I don't want to go there, that restaurant has AMAZING food." Well, yeah, DUH, that's why he chose it! You're just proving my point.

Jesus, born by a virgin who was impregnated by God sounds ridiculous. Outlandish. Insane. Impossible. And it was. It could have ONLY happen through the divinity of God almighty. Yes, Mister Naysayer on the Discover Channel, you are right; Mary's pregnancy WAS impossible. Which, incidentally, makes me love her and her selfless obedience even more. She must have thought she was going insane. As she told her family, friends and even Joseph that an angel had come to her and told her she would be pregnant with the Son of God, who would save us from our sins, she must have questioned even her own thoughts, visions, and mental status. But she trusted and obeyed and 9 months later she gave birth to God himself. God as man. God among us. Our Savior, Jesus Christ. It was an impossibility that only God himself could live up to.

But it was Calvary's cross that shadowed Bethlehem's manger that first Christmas night. Christ's birth, although giving us a picture of God, is not complete without his crucifixion and his resurrection.

Two impossibilities.

We can't celebrate Christmas without Easter.

Christ was the sacrificial lamb slain for the forgiveness of sins. He was the ransom paid for our salvation. It was his death that bridged the gap between a sinful man and the perfect heavenly father. Jesus' impossible birth lead to his death and to his impossible resurrection. Which today allows us a direct line to God. We don't have to hope for peace after death. We have that assurance and that promise. We now have a peace that surpasses all understanding. Why? Because of the impossible.

All of the wonderful, loving presents we received this year won't bring us long term happiness. They won't bring us contentment. The new car smell fades. Electronics quickly become obsolete. Clothes quickly go out of style.

Peace, happiness, joy are gifts that only God can provide. Nothing will ever take the place of the contentment that comes from a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Man and materials will never measure up. Only God can fill the voids in your life. He makes the impossible possible.

And I am completely humbled that he loves a sinner like me. That he calls me friend. And that I am his flawed, imperfect, disobedient daughter. And yet, he still thinks I'm beautiful.

Until next time. Mwah!