stolen idea

I’m completely stealing this blog idea – because I love it and let me tell you why.  I love the honesty of it and I’m continually looking for balance when it comes to my honesty here with you all and making sure that I’m not crossing into territory where I’m hurting someone’s feelings.  I’m sure other bloggers can empathize that when you’re blogging about your life, it can sometimes get compartmentalized and complicated.  I’m sure it’s much more freeing to blog about recipes and cooking or fitness.  What’s going on in my life drives this blog – good and bad (probably the reason for some lengthy absences).  I don’t want it to come off “Dear Diary” style but at the same time, it seems like when I’m writing from my heart, it’s less work to convey an idea and you all are more receptive.  So in the spirit of honesty, I give you the 3 Things I’m Bad At.

#1 Paying “silly” bills on time

Okay… I wrestled over including this one cause it makes me sound *so* immature.  But since we’re being truthful, I do have a few bills that I regularly don’t pay on time.  I know it’s not a good thing, guys.  Stuff like my cell bill, a store credit card (cringe), internet – those are bills that seem a little sillier than rent, car payment, CAR INSURANCE so I take a few liberties when getting those paid.  I know all bills are to be taken seriously and I’m in the process of trying to scale back the spending and tighten up on the whole budget thing.  The funny part about this is that I never feel more adult than I do when all my bills are paid.

#2 Openly correcting grammar

Okay, so I love proper spelling and grammar.  I’m sure I’ve abused it a time or two in the past – who hasn’t?!  I can tell you that I’ve gotten a lot better at knowing when to correct in mixed company (I used to be worse and way more annoying).  Sorry, family, you’ll always be fair game.  My eyes are trained to find the errors in PowerPoint presentations and in business situations I take people less seriously when something is misspelled.  I love the English language and I will be the first person to butcher it intentionally, so I’m really sorry in advance when I mutter “well” under my breath when someone says “he did good”, or “supposedly” when I hear “supposebly” or “essspresso” when I hear someone order “expresso” because truthfully, I have no right to do that.  Clearly, this is an ongoing area of opportunity for me.

#3 The follow-through

This one is probably the hardest and the most honest.  I start a lot of things I don’t finish.  I’m well aware through old adages and reading that this is an undesirable characteristic.  My resume includes diets I start and don’t finish, gyms I start and don’t commit to, books that lose my interest and end up back on the shelf, starting and stopping running about five times, leaving the last dish in the sink unwashed after doing alllll the other dishes, and not calling my family/friends as often as I should. There’s also the ideas that pop into my head randomly throughout the day of things I think I’d like to do.  Prime example: today I was thinking maybe I should make all the food I eat from scratch and eat nothing processed.  Let’s be honest, guys.  That’s a setup for immediate failure.  I can spin this a plethora of different ways, both positive and negative.  It doesn’t hinder my growth as a person but I really do this a lot.  I think it probably frustrates me more than anyone else (right, family?).

I believe we all have things we’re bad at.  And generally speaking, those are the things that cause us a bit of heartbreak, some bumps and bruises and leave us with some thicker skin.  Yes, a good portion of the time we’re the better for having gone through hard times.  That’s not always true, of course, but when I look back on times I thought were so hard they’d crush me I scratch my head wondering how I could have thought it was so bad.  The point is, if we start owning those things we’re bad at it becomes easier to embrace the unique person we are.  They don’t have to be defining characteristics… they can just be a smaller part of what makes up the whole.

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family tradition

In my family, if it’s a holiday, there’s cranberry salad.  In fact, we don’t even call it “cranberry salad” anymore.  It’s now known simply as “cranberry”.  As in: my mom will ask “do you want to make the cranberry?”

If we’re being honest, when I was a kid I wasn’t all that crazy about it.  Mostly cause there’s celery in it and I hate celery.  As I’ve gotten older it’s become something I appreciate more and, now that I’ve started eating it instead of passing over it, I’ve found it’s pretty delicious.

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I’m sure I’ve mentioned before that in lieu of tangible things, my family tradition is more about cooking together and breaking bread together.  Part of the tradition of the cranberry is making it.  When I asked my mom about the origins of the cranberry salad, she told me she remembers it back to my great aunt Catherine.  She used to actually grind the cranberries by hand (akin to walking to school uphill both ways in the rain?) cause back then it wasn’t canned.  My mom fondly remembers her mom making it for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners only—grinding all the ingredients by hand.  Then when my mom started entertaining in the 80’s, her mom showed her how to make it just as my mom has shown my sister and me.  It’s legit passed down, guys.

In our little family, though, the cranberry isn’t just for Thanksgiving and Christmas—it makes an appearance at every holiday.  This Easter, three girls crowded around my sister’s kitchen island—Rach, mom and me.  We slivered celery, segmented oranges, drained canned pineapple, Rachel cut her hand and we assembled the most delicious (cause every year it gets more delicious) cranberry together.  We talked and laughed—mostly about Rachel’s cranberry disaster of 2013 but that’s another story.

My sister and I have a photocopy of the recipe written in my Grammy’s hand, all cranberry stained from overuse.  Quite simply, it’s us.

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