Obviously, examples help here, right?
For the high points...
* My sweet baby girl turned 1 year old!! I posted about it yesterday, but I still can't believe she's no longer a baby and now a toddler. Every parent says, "Where has the time gone?!" And I get it now, because it seems like only yesterday she was a tiny little baby I was bringing home from the hospital and snuggling with in the wee hours of the morning. Seeing her grow up has been a true blessing.
* I accepted an amazing new job a few weeks back, and start on 8/31! Until recently, I couldn't discuss it online because it wasn't fully known to everyone at my current job. But since it's now "out there", I felt better about sharing with everyone here. My new job is at a higher level and is more appropriate for me at this point in my career, with a significant pay increase and some flexibility to work from home in the future to boot. The company is also in a completely different field where I'll be able to learn a lot of new things and stretch my base of knowledge, not only in my specific job area but in the world of business. While I'll miss my current job tremendously, my new one is sure to be full of great challenges that will excite and motivate me!
* My new niece, Claire Michelle, was born this past week. We share a middle name, which makes me such a proud auntie! See our picture below... Isn't she cute?!?! She looks similar to her big sister, but with a less pronounced chin and smaller mouth, hands and feet. Oh, those adorable, teeny, tiny feet!! Maybe Claire be the dainty one of the two, since my other niece is such a rough and tumble kid! No matter what, I adore her. She's one sweet, snuggly little girl.
* We are having some areas of our yard professionally re-landscaped and it's finally set up for this week! I can't wait to see what our yard looks like when it's got proper bushes, mulch, rocks, and plants. In the past, we've done some of this ourselves, but we just don't have the time or manpower for the amount of work that needs to be done quickly, and a professional can do it fast and without it breaking our bank. We've had most of our trees trimmed recently, and that's made a huge difference, but now we're saving to have 5 trees removed completely. 3 of those are gigantic Washington palm trees planted by the prior owner of our house in the backyard, which are 30 feet tall now and will grow to be 60 feet tall in the non-so-distant future. It's very difficult for them to be trimmed now, but at 60 feet, it will be impossible. Anyone familiar with palms knows that when the wind blows, untrimmed dead palm fronds will fall and could seriously injure someone (including my darling child or one of her friends or relatives), and that's not a risk I'm willing to take. We're cutting those suckers down once we have the money saved, and it's a priority for us.
* I had a very sick aunt who made it through a very tough surgery and it making a miraculous recovery. It's honestly a miracle, and even the doctors are shocked. I cannot say enough about this wonderful woman, and I'm glad she'll be on this Earth a little longer.
As for those pesky, frustrating lows...
* I was mistaken for my 9-months pregnant sister by her neighbor this week. The neighbor saw my husband and I loading Avery into our SUV and asked me if I was on the way to the hospital to have my baby. I know I'm overweight, but... really??? She even knows my sister, brother-in-law and 2-year-old niece pretty well, and my sister and I don't even look that much alike (yes, we're twins, but fraternal). Ugh. Even though I've lost 30 lbs, that was like a stab in the heart. This also happened with a different neighbor of my sister's not long ago. I went to visit on a solo weekend trip about 6 weeks ago, and that neighbor asked me if I was ready to have my baby. She clearly thought I was my sister. I'd lost 22 lbs at that point and I was so mad. Mad at myself, mad at her, just mad in general. I told my sister and she told me that neighbor was an idiot. My sister clearly has a HUGE baby belly and has outgrown all of the maternity clothes I'd given her while I was pregnant with Avery, yet this woman thought I was her, in my non pregnant, no-baby-belly state. Again, humiliating, disheartening, disappointing... there aren't enough words in my vocabulary to express my feelings about this subject. As I've stated before, I'm steadily working to lose weight in a healthy way, and I don't hate myself for my weight or how I look, and health is still my priority over looks. But damn, those comments stung.
* I haven't had a fully-functional iPhone in over a month. My initial iPhone was replaced under warranty in July after having a cracked screen and other issues. Within two weeks, the phone became unable to connect to my wireless carrier the majority of the time and kept asking me to re-activate the phone. After experiencing some extraordinarily poor customer service in-store, I called the store's customer service line and was sent a new phone via 2-day UPS service. However, the phone didn't arrive until 4 days later (nice 2-day service, UPS!), when I was out of town to meet my new niece. So what did UPS do? Rather than waiting 2 hours for me to come home and see the final notice, and come in to their center to pick up the package, they immediately returned it to the sender! I was hopping mad. Breathing fire. Seeing red. (Insert your own euphemism here.) I was sent yet another phone, and this one doesn't recognize ANY sim card you put into it. WTF. After several aggravating hours on the phone with store managers, call center "supervisors" and others, I sent Hubs to the store to see what he could do. I knew that if I had to talk to someone in person I might just go postal, and I didn't want to do that. Apparently they have a 3-strikes rule with their warranty replacement phones, so they ordered me a 3rd replacement phone and the 3rd phone won't get here for at least a week. Hubs got me a cheap $10 Android trac phone to hold me over until this mess gets sorted out, but it's been ridiculous. Remember when no one had cell phones and we didn't feel lost without electronic devices, except maybe the TV remote control when it was stuck between the sofa cushions? Ah, the good old days.
* A part of my car's anti-lock brake system is on the fritz and it almost caused a serious accident the other night. Now, I'm paranoid about driving my car, and I find driving in heaving traffic very stressful. I hope we can get this part fixed soon, but this is a very expensive fix. Coming from a Car Family (most of my family works/has worked in the auto industry), we rarely keep cars past 3 years, and this is the first car I've had this long (5.5 years). Now I see why I haven't--the thing has become a serious money pit. While the lure of no car payment sounds awesome, spending thousands in the past 2 years fixing expensive issues just isn't my jam.
So that's it for recent highs and lows. It's the epitome of life, right? Sometimes life builds us up and kicks us down mere seconds apart from one instance to the other, but it's how we recover that makes us who we are. I come from positive-thinking parents, so I'm taking a page from their playbook: I'm focusing on what's been going great and and remembering that life always gets better.
I hope everyone has a great, positive week!